Reproduction of Bradford Table Carpet
Summary of the Reproduction Story

Photo: Yutaka Sato

The Nirenokai, the group of embroiderers I preside over and who are now happy to show their work, a reproduction of the Bradford Table Carpet which is one of the finest examples of English needlework of the 16th century. Worked in tent stitch with coloured silk on a linen canvas, it used to belong to the collection of the Earl of Bradford, but it is now housed at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

It was at one of my exhibitions that I was asked if there were any antique needlepoint works being exhibited. Not until I explained that they are so precious that most of them are generally preserved in foreign museums, did I realize that people in Japan have had little chance to see antique needlepoint works.

Therefore, I decided to reproduce the Bradford Table Carpet, but while reproducing the piece, I had a somewhat curious feeling about the work, which was originally made 430 years ago, being reproduced in the computer age. This age discrepancy might have been one of the reasons for difficulties we had during the reproduction.
Since I did not have the antique needlepoint work in front of me to refer to, finding the appropriate procedure, technique, stitch or colour was often a frustrating, although rewarding, experience. I regret that I could not find any better method before finishing with each section. We spent seven whole years completing the work which is 388.5cm wide and 190.5cm high.

I still hope to show my reproduction to as many Japanese people as possible, and would be grateful if they kindly understood my passion and dream for it to be seen for hundreds of years to come.

Exhibit a show

[to enlarge]