stitched greetings

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photo-6(1)¬† The organisers of last September’s CMT ‘Texts and Textiles’ conference were touched to receive this stitched postcard¬† (left; apologies for the blurry photo) from one of the participants shortly afterwards. I was reminded of this lovely thank-you note today after reading the latest blog post from Edinburgh-based writer and designer Kate Davies, in which she shares some beautiful pictures of her collection of machine-embroidered postcards made in France and Switzerland in the early twentieth century. As Davies explains, these sentimental greetings cards were especially popular with British troops serving in France, and surviving examples with their handwritten inscriptions offer poignant glimpses into lives from the past. Unlike the postcard above, these mass-produced material texts were not stamped and sent in the regular postal service, but transported in military mail pouches, and so were more protected in transit. The delicacy of their voile overlays and the bright colours of their jolly floral designs reinforce their optimistic stitched messages (‘A KISS FROM FRANCE’; ‘We are all right’), and must have offered a striking contrast with the bleakness of the front line.

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