Wednesday, 5 March 2014

A Stitch in time for the Centenary

The Heritage Lottery Fund award to Fairlynch Museum for its WW1 project includes an opportunity for creative embroidery. 

The idea supported by HLF is to invite members of the community and visitors to Fairlynch to contribute to an embroidery project on 'puttees' – these are the woollen strips of material worn by soldiers in the trenches, wound around their lower legs. 

In emergencies puttees could be used to make improvised dressings (perhaps padded with sphagnum moss collected and bagged on Woodbury Common).

A number of suggestions have been made for images or words that could be embroidered: names from  the Rolls of Honour, images of flowers, texts from poems, images of prized objects or loved ones, or, for instance, images of weapons, a map of the Maginot Line. 

The HLF project would see embroidered puttees being displayed at the Museum or in local shops. 

There are lots of interesting examples of the use of embroidery in contemporary art. A forthcoming exhibition at the Thelma Hulbert Gallery in Honiton shows the work of Jenni Dutton, an artist from Somerset, on a theme of 'Recollection'. Seen above is her ‘Mum with red scarf’, a piece of embroidery in which thread has been cleverly used as a symbol in relation to memory loss. 

Jenni Dutton's website is at 

If you would like to join this project and embroider a puttee, please contact Lyn Cooke or Martyn Brown on 01395 445171 or or 

‘The Great War at Fairlynch’ 2015 exhibition at Budleigh Salterton’s very special museum! Reviews included: “Wonderful display on WW1, informative, bright and relevant. Well done!! 


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