Stitch after laborious stitch, a group of needleworkers has re-created a bit of the fabric of Akron’s history.
The stitchers spent eight years reproducing a 17th-century set of embroidered bed linens that once decorated the Manor House of Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens, the home of tire magnate F.A. Seiberling and his wife, Gertrude. When Stan Hywet opens for the season April 2, the newly completed linens will be on display in the Cromwell Room, a stop on the estate’s Nooks & Crannies Tour.
The complex process of reproducing the bedding involved researching the crewelwork stitches used on the original linens, reproducing missing portions of the design, creating a pattern and commissioning the creation of historically correct fabric and yarns.
Oh, and stitching — 5,410 hours’ worth, to be exact.
Little is known about the original Cromwell linens, other than that the Seiberlings’ decorator, Hugo Huber, bought them from New York antiques dealer Schmitt Bros. in 1916. At the time, the Seiberlings were building their country estate and striving to emulate the grand manor houses of England, so antique bedding on an old four-poster bed undoubtedly fit the look they were aiming for...