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Create medieval embroideries at Ilkley Manor House

(Photo: Tanya Bentham)

Medieval embroidery expert Tanya Bentham returns to Ilkley Manor House to host a series of workshops.

Tanya’s wildly popular exhibition of Opus Anglicanum works was displayed at the House last year for the museum’s celebration of Medieval Ilkley. There will be three one-day workshops and one two-day workshop, teaching a variety of skills to transform you into a master of medieval needlework!

The first two workshops are on Wednesday, 29 May or Saturday, 22 June. Visitors will learn how to create ‘laid and couched works’, as used in the Bayeux tapestry, to make embroidered medieval beasties using naturally dyed wool threads.

On Saturday, 20 July, you can make your own underside couching sample. This stitch was pivotal to the spectacular Opus Anglicanum embroideries of the Middle Ages, but it is a tricky one to master. Join Tanya and take on the challenge!

Lastly, there is a two-day workshop which runs from Wednesday, 18 to Thursday, 19 September. Here, you can learn how to use filament silks to create a 3D effect, and underside couching for added bling by creating your own Opus Anglicanum face. Opus Anglicanum means ‘English work’ and was a popular technique in the 13th-14th centuries, using silk, gold, and silver threads. It was often used for beautiful religious fabrics, such as altar coverings and clergymen’s cloaks, so that the threads sparkled even in the dimly lit medieval churches.

All the workshops run from 10am to 4pm, with time for comfort breaks throughout the sessions.

“We are delighted to welcome Tanya back to Ilkley Manor House to share her embroidery skills and knowledge. Definitely a must for anyone with an interest in needle craft,” says Sarah Thomas, Chair of the Ilkley Manor House Trust.

The one-day workshops are £80, and the two-day workshop is £125 (these costs include the full kits). To book, please email admin@ilkleymanorhouse.org and pay on the day. Alternatively, you can pop into the Manor House on weekends, 11am to 4pm, to purchase tickets from the Box Office.

For a full list of all Ilkley Manor House’s events and activities for May – Aug, please visit the website or pick up a copy of the summer programme from the Ilkley Visitor Information Centre, local shops, or from the outdoor leaflet holder located next to Ilkley Manor House’s front door.

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