Capacious work-bags were an important domestic accessory in the eighteenth century, and their decoration and scale reflected changing fashions in needlework, although their form, two squares of fabric seamed at the base and sides and closing with a simple drawstring, remained plain. Work-bags tended to be large to contain the substantial hanks of coloured worsted wool used for crewelwork, and made of linen or cotton. Many were embroidered with crewelwork, typically with twisting Tree of Life patterns, complete with foliage and birds.


  • Title: Workbag
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1712
  • Location: England
  • Physical Dimensions: Length: 26.25 in, Width: 19.25 in
  • Provenance: Given by Lord Cowdray
  • Medium: Linen, embroidered with wool, buttonhole stitches, french knots, blanket stitch

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