Barbola Embroidery
Patricia Fields

Douglas, GA

#1 Jul 22, 2006
I am researching the history of barbola wook used in mirrors in 1930 England. Now I find the term applied to embroidery. Does anyone know about barbola embroidery? How old is it, what are the characteristics?
linda Douglas

Brisbane, Australia

#2 Oct 30, 2006
Dear Patricia, Barbola is similar to stumpwork embroidery but doesn't use wires. A fabric stiffener is used after the petals and leaves or components have been made and before the stiffener sets, the shape is moulded, say for a rose petal. This is allowed to dry and then stitched to the background fabric of silk, damask, cotton etc. I can't remember where it began but can find out.
Bets Maas

Australia

#3 Oct 30, 2006
As far s I know my Barbola Embroidery designs were the first to be published. I learned the technique from an embroidery teacher who migrated from South Africa. She learned it from an elderly lady at a embroiderers guild in Johannesburg. The elderly lady has since past away.At the time of my first publication in Embroidery and Cross Stitch I could not find anything on the Internet or libraries about the work. I have Modernised the work by using more modern stiffeners etc. You can contact me at [email protected]
Bets Maas

Australia

#4 Oct 31, 2006
I forgot to mention that I live in Brisbane Australia. Barbola embroidery is mentioned in connection with ancient Tibet. However, the Tibetan version differs completely from the modern version.
Tim

Saint-laurent, Canada

#5 Feb 2, 2007
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jil babington

London, UK

#6 Nov 9, 2007
Patricia Fields wrote:
I am researching the history of barbola wook used in mirrors in 1930 England. Now I find the term applied to embroidery. Does anyone know about barbola embroidery? How old is it, what are the characteristics?
my reserch shows that the word barbola was a derogatory term used for gypsies in the south of bham where i grew up my aunts esp mary used the word to describe running sores nits infestations saying the lice were barbolas i have now since statrted buying these mirrors come to understand the full meaning ask carl chinn who lived nearby to us in the 6os who defdends the brummagen barbola terminology what he knows about the term etc im sure he will put you on the right track also the word miskin was used in conjunction with barbola a word my mothers mothers mother used was popular again in balsal heath south bham meaning aaaaaaaa rubbish bin or rubbish or bad person i read in the times its french arabic in the times what a strange world we live in!!!!bham mail news will put you in touch with dr carl chinn
jil babington

London, UK

#7 Nov 9, 2007
barbola means to me lice ridden sores disease infected the words as big as barbolas was often used to describe sores abceses etc by my aunt who is now dead i thought she meant a barbed owler or barbed owl etc howver the rose shape was linked to southern bham gypsy carts also vermin infestation etc as its still got a gypsy population i will never forget that word barbola as a frightening word describing huge abcesses dirty people also gypsies as they were thought of then also the word riffy was conjoined with barbola miskin etc im sure rifi is meant to eman arabs from the rif in northern moroccxa also miskin is an arabic word too.........maybe barbola is too
Gill UK

India

#8 Feb 25, 2009
I've not yet had much luck finding out about Barbola Stumpwork, but it does sound very similar to the work done in a book by a lady called Irene Coulthard: Hand Embroidered Calico Gardens, which is available from Amazon and the like. She uses shades of cream, but of course, you could do whatever colour you like. Her work is popular in England. Because it is monochromatic, you tend to look carefully at texture, which can be very interesting. Happy stitching
ritz USA

Demotte, IN

#9 May 9, 2009
I am looking at a catalog from 2008. It shows two books by Di Van Niekerk. In the book called "A Perfect World in Ribbon Embroidery & Stumpwork" it sayys "techniques in ribbonwork, stumpwork, barbola, ribbon applique and trapunto". You might check her for more info.
Mary Archibald

UK

#10 Dec 17, 2009
Bets Maas wrote:
As far s I know my Barbola Embroidery designs were the first to be published. I learned the technique from an embroidery teacher who migrated from South Africa. She learned it from an elderly lady at a embroiderers guild in Johannesburg. The elderly lady has since past away.At the time of my first publication in Embroidery and Cross Stitch I could not find anything on the Internet or libraries about the work. I have Modernised the work by using more modern stiffeners etc. You can contact me at [email protected]
You are one of the few people in the world, it seems, who have even heard of barbola embroidery.
Dear Bets,My mother left an unfinished table runner with a bird design, involving barbola. She was no great sew-er, so I suspect she got stuck! There are no instructions left, but separate pieces of linen printed with the wings of the birds have 'Barbola Embroidery' also printed down the edge. It may date to the 1930s.
The Embroiderers' Guild here in UK had never come across it, nor had The Royal School of Needlework.
I had Googled it before, but this time used Yahoo and found your entry.
Can you suggest how I would go about finishing the runner?
kerry

Adelaide, Australia

#11 Mar 3, 2012
hello Bets,
Have you written any books??

I have seen some of your designs and would love to purchase a book and learn this way of embroidering.

thanks
Bets Maas wrote:
As far s I know my Barbola Embroidery designs were the first to be published. I learned the technique from an embroidery teacher who migrated from South Africa. She learned it from an elderly lady at a embroiderers guild in Johannesburg. The elderly lady has since past away.At the time of my first publication in Embroidery and Cross Stitch I could not find anything on the Internet or libraries about the work. I have Modernised the work by using more modern stiffeners etc. You can contact me at [email protected]
ReginaM

Somerville, NJ

#13 Aug 31, 2012
testing, thank you.

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