Monday, 6 October 2014

The Antique Pattern Library

is an extraordinary project. The aim is to scan early craft publications which are in the public domain (i.e. not subject to copyright) and make them available for anyone to use free of charge. It is run by a small group of dedicated volunteers.
The idea has been to preserve old resources for modern research and use.
Some of the subjects covered to date include,

Battenburg Lace, Beading, Berlin Work, Book Binding,
Calligraphy, Carpentry, Cross Stitch, Cutwork, Drawing, Dressmaking, Embroidery, Filet Crochet, Irish Crochet,
Knitting, Macramé, Tatting, Weaving,Woodwork
and more.

Many of the items are from European publications which would otherwise be almost inaccessible to those of us in other parts of the world. They often come from times when people appeared to have "more time" to do such things. The instructions sometimes sound quaint and different. The illustrations sometimes seem comical. The accompanying advertisements in some publications are often amusing too. The actual resources though are marvellous for anyone who has the slightest interest in designing their own projects, recreating something from the past, learning something about how something was done or how it might be done now. It has value even for people who are not craftspeople - as a history lesson. 

The scans have been graphically edited for two reasons. One is that is reduces the size of the files. The other is that merely scanning old documents does not necessarily make them easily readable. Merely scanning them can mean they are barely legible. The scanning and then editing is often skilled and time-consuming work.

The library is an on-line resource. Anyone can access it and download the material there for personal use or educational purposes. The value of it for craftspeople and artists is not to be underestimated. Like all such ventures it needs support and it needs to be used.
If you are a craftsperson and you are reading this please prowl over to
and take a look. Please tell me (and them) what you think. I want to know.

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