Butterfly Embroidery Patterns, 1914

Here are some sweet butterfly designs from a newspaper article titled “Of Interest To Every Woman” edited by Martha Westover. The designs took up almost an entire page, included some duplicate butterflies, and were meant to be transferred directly from newsprint to fabric using the following method.

Dissolve a half teaspoonful of washing powder or a small piece of soap in two-thirds of a glass of water. To this add a tablespoonful of ammonia. Place the material on which the transfer is to be made on a hard, smooth surface, saturate the back of the design with the above solution, place the design face down on the material, laying a sheet of thick paper over the back of the design; hold firmly with one hand and with the bowl of a spoon rub, with pressure from you.

This sounds both tricky and messy, and like something that might not work all that well.  I think I’d just trace the pattern.

These butterflies remind me of some I saw on an embroidered quilt for sale on ebay some years ago. They were so whimsical and original, that I wrote a post about them.


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