Within the Gothic Revival, architects, most notably A. W. N. Pugin and G. E. Street, had promoted embroidery with the vigorous conviction that it was a vital and serious practice. Many of the finest vestments and other embroidery of the Gothic Revival were architect-designed, but it is often forgotten how often the makers' art was valued.... By the 1890s, with the impact of art-school training, embroidery, especially at the Glasgow School of Art, became an experimental, innovative craft. — Lynne Walker, p. 126
[Thomas] Wardle's wife, Elizabeth, also is worth attention. A lot of women worked in the [textile] industry, but a more genteel pursuit was embroidery, particularly in making tapestries and banners for churches.
Sometime around 1879, Thomas and his wife Elizabeth set up the Leek Embroidery School. — "Thomas Wardle"
THE VESTMENTS: In the old Covenant it was commanded that vestments should be made for the High Priest, “for glory and for beauty” (Ex. xxxviii. 2): for beauty, because God, who has made the world so full of beautiful things, would have us honour Him by dedi cating His own lovely handiwork; for glory, that they might show forth something of His secret excellence.... Therefore, the Christian Church has almost always used in service such things as are alike beautiful in art and ymbolical in meaning; and the English Church, in particular, enjoins this practice when she bids that “the chancels shall remain as they have done in time past,” and directs her ministers to wear such vestments as were in use in the second year of Edward VI. The Christian religion is, indeed, a spiritual religion; but a spiritual religion is not one which discards outward ceremonies, but one which fulfils them by proclaiming their inner meaning. — H.H.J., p. 24
- Embroidered angel in All Saints, Leek, by the Leek School of Embroiderers
- Altar Frontal designed by Richard Norman Shaw, also by the Leek School (detail)
- Two altar frontals designed by William Butterfield in St Mary Magdalene, Enfield (scroll down to see)
- Angeli Laudantes, by Lady Catherine of Wenlock Abbey
- The Four Kings altar frontal, by Thomas Wardle and the Leek Embroidery School
- The Hierarchy of Angels, displayed at St Edward the Confessor, Leek
- Altar frontal designed by Richard Norman Shaw, displayed at St Edward the Confessor, Leek
- Embroidered altar frontal in use at St Edward the Confessor, Leek
- Framed embroidery by Miss Ethel Vigrass at St Edward the Confessor, Leek
- The Memorial Well Cawnpore India (silk embroidered panel)
- Altar frontal at the Savoy Chapel, London
- Two hangings depicting angels in Southwark Cathedral, design attributed to G. F. Bodley
- Altar Cloth by Louise Lessore Powell
- Embroidered Altar Frontals, Vestments etc. at St Augustine's, Kilburn,
where the Sisters of the Church had their own embroidery workroom:
- Altar frontal for High Altar
- Altar frontal featuring Archangel Michael
- Altar frontal featuring censing angels
- Altar frontal with Old Testament prophets
- Gold-coloured chasuble
- Purple chasuble
- Red chasuble and stole
- White chasuble
- Black chasuble
- Black cope
- Blue cope
- Gold cope
- Red cope
- Green cope
- Purple dalmatic
- Red dalmatic
- Red stole
- Embroidered mitre
- Embroidered humeral veil
- Embroidered burse
- Ave Maria banner
- Banners showing the Hoy Ghost as a Dove, and Christ with a Chalice
- Sancta Maria banner (designed by Ninian Comper and worked by the Sisters of Bethany
- St Augustine banner
- St John banner
- Banners showing St Michael and St Alban
- St Catherine banner
- Rose Tree, designed by Alan Fisher and made by the Royal School of Needlework
- Study of a Robed Man for The Pilgrim in the embroidery "The Romance of the Rose," by Sir Edward Burne-Jones
- Embroidered Screen, by Arthur Heygate Mackmurdo
- Embroidered Dress Front, by William Reynolds-Stephens
- Man's Embroidered Smock, photographed by Gertrude Jekyll
- Embroidered curtain, by Lady Catherine of Wenlock Abbey (detail shown above)
- Embroidery by Ann Macbeth
- The Rose Bower by Joan Drew
- How the Four Queens Found Sir Lancelot in the Wood, embroidery designed by Jessie M. King
- Evening Bag, embroidered by Jane Morris
- A pair of shoes, embroidered by Marie Spartali Stillman
Crane, Walter. “Needlework as a Mode of Artistic Expression. Complete text. The International Studio 22 (1898): 144-48, 197-202. Transcribed from the Hathi Trust Digital Library online version of a copy in the library of University of Chicago. 22 January 2018.
"Elizabeth Leeke Wardle." Geni. Web. 26 January 2016.
J., H. H. S. Augustine's Church, Kilburn. A Short Account of Its Structure, Vestments, and Other Works of Art. London: Morton & Burt, 1894. Hathii Trust. From a copy in the library of Princeton University. Web. 26 April 2021.
"St Edward's Church, Leek." Staffordshire Past Track (Staffordshire County Council). Web. 26 January 2016.
"Thomas Wardle." Stoke & Staffordshire Local History (BBC archives). 6 January 2016.
Walker, Lynne. "Women and Church Art." In Churches 1870-1919. Studies in Victorian Architecture & Design (The Victorian Society). 3 (2011): 121-43.
Walton, Cathryn. Hidden Lives: Leek's Extraordinary Embroiderers. Leek: Churnet Valley Books, 2014.
Last modified 21 January 2018