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Textiles

Religious textiles | Lay textiles

Textiles are an important element of civilization. Over the centuries, needlework such as lace making and embroidery has transformed various textiles into works of art. Depending on its use, needlework can be classified as either religious or lay.

Religious textiles

The portrait attributed to Louis Dulongpré, Mère Thérèse-Geneviève Coutlée, leaves no doubt as to the place held by the art of embroidery, or at the very least the ornamentation of liturgical vestments, in the nun’s life. The Ursulines of Quebec City and other communities made embroidery a specialization for more than two centuries and set high standards of perfection for needlework. Although the religious communities created masterpieces of embroidery, embroidery could still be found in middle-class and lower-class homes, in napkins, good clothes and every bride’s trousseau.

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Altar bag

Altar bag
Early 19th century
1994.287

Embroidered liturgical ornaments

Embroidered liturgical ornaments
Early 20th century
1994.3585

Embroidered liturgical ornaments

Embroidered liturgical ornaments
Early 20th century
1994.3586

Banner Virgin Mary

Banner
Virgin Mary
Le Ber, Jeanne
Early 18th century
1994.557

Credenza cloth

Credenza cloth
1994.3879

Pale

Pall
Le Ber, Jeanne
Early 18th century
1994.560

Altar covering

Altar covering
Fournier, Marie-Angélique,
sister, CND
Before 1850
1994.3015

Lay textiles

Along with the embroidered masterpieces created by the female religious communities, embroidery could be found on napkins, good clothes and in every bride’s trousseau in middle-class and even lower-class homes.

Lace making replaced the art of embroidery. As soon as lace appeared, it could be found everywhere: not only at necklines or cuffs, but also on gloves, breeches and boots, as well as on pieces of furniture and in carriages.

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Needlepoint Bouquet of flowers

Needlepoint
Bouquet of flowers
Waldorff, Maria
Early 19th century
1994.2857

Table centerpiece

Table centerpiece
1994.1937

Table runner

Table runner
1994.1902

Cushion

Cushion
1994.4

Table centerpiece

Table centerpiece
1994.1952.1

Table centerpiece

Table centerpiece
1994.1958

Tapestry
 Peacock surrounded by flowers

Tapestry
Peacock surrounded by flowers
Late 19th century
1994.2853