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Historical Recreations

(Henry VIII , The Lady of Shalott & The Mona Lisa)

In addition to contemporary design work, gift ideas and wedding accessories, Goldwork from Silk-Pig can faithfully re-create the style and elegance of costume decoration from through out history for exhibition, film and theatre.

Through her interest in heritage studies Avril became involved in the recreation of historical costume and embroidery. Working in conjunction with Orchard House Wardrobe and WAG Screen she has produced costume and embroidery for both film and exhibition.

Henry VIII

As part of an exhibition, Orchard House were commissioned to produce historically accurate costumes to celebrate the 900th year since the accession of Henry VIII. This was achieved using a document kept in Lincoln Archives known as the ‘Worsley Document’ that details the contents of Henry VIII’s wardrobe. His wardrobe being a whole area of London, not the cupboards we know of today.

The document shows in detail the fabrics and style of Henry’s clothes and that of his court, this together with paintings of the period informed Orchard House’s costume design. Avril  was consulted and commissioned to produce the Goldwork embroidery for the costume of Henry VIII closely following a portrait from Henry's early reign. Henry Portrait

Before starting the embroidery Avril studied the embroidery techniques & other portraits of Henry VIII that appeared to show use of the techniques. Using this she produced a design that matched the portrait.

Henry WIP

 Henry Costume

 The Lady of Shallot

A further collaboration with Orchard House and the community film company WAG Screen to mark the 200th anniversary of Tennyson’s birth, led to assistance in costume manufacture and embroidery used in the production of a film of the poem ‘The Lady of Shallot’. Again paintings were used, particularly those of the pre-Raphaelite artists, to inform costume design.Painting Shalott

This picture by William Waterhouse of the Lady of Shallot was used to create one of the costumes for the film.

  Though a simple dress there appears to be embroidery around the sleeves and this is what Avril recreated. Shalott detail

This can be seen in this image from the film that matches very closely William Waterhouse’s interpretation of the Lady of Shallot. Film Shalott 1A

Photographs from The Lady of Shalott coutesy of WAG Screen (

By closely examining images, selecting authentic materials and producing trial pieces to ensure that the effect is as accurate as possible Avril aim’s to match both customer expectations and her own high standards.

Film Shalott 2

Photographs from The Lady of Shalott coutesy of WAG Screen (

The Mona Lisa - Recreating Leonardo’s masterpiece…..

 Mona Lisa

Since the early 1500’s every detail of Leonardo da Vinci’s portrait of Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo has captivated it’s viewers. Now, as part of the preparations for a forthcoming documentary film production, Avril has again worked with Orchard House Wardrobe to study and recreate the enigmatic lady’s costume.

Mona Lisa neckline 1

 The detail of the decorated, pleated neckline at first appears to be traditional goldwork, but it proved impossible to recreate the appearance of the feature visible in the painting on the pleated silk chiffon; further experiments with Holbein stitch also proved unsuccessful. Eventually, the neckline decoration has been faithfully reproduced using on laid silk threads couched with six filament silk.

 Mona Lisa neckline 2

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