Sarah Pedlow's education and preservation project ThreadWritten is largely named after Hungarian written embroidery from Transylvania, Romania - írásos in Hungarian which translates as “written”. Interested in textiles and embroidery as text, record, and visual language, írásos is the embroidery that inspired her business.
While participating in an artist’s residency in Budapest, Hungary in 2009, Sarah fell in love with Hungarian embroidery and clothing in the Museum of Ethnography. The experience led her to seek out women embroidering in the written style in Transylvania, Romania, and start ThreadWritten in 2012, first with artisan-made bags and pillows. Since 2014 she has been focusing on education, lecturing, and teaching cultural embroidery workshops.
Now, ThreadWritten supports women artisans, traditional textile practices and the preservation of heritage through research, education, and the cultivation of a global community of makers. The Amsterdam-based American leads textile retreats offering creative learning experiences in embroidery and traditional textiles in the US and Europe, as well as telling her own stories inspired by the textiles of Transylvania.
"Asking someone if they or their grandmother embroidered is a wonderful way to meet people and start a conversation when traveling. I love sharing the joy and pride felt in the handmade, especially pieces that tie to family, heritage and tradition.
The floral patterns, dense stitching and colors of Central and Eastern Europe have particularly drawn me in. I love seeing how these traditions might connect with those of other countries. Some motifs appear all over the world. So you can find similar designs in some Romanian, Portuguese, and Mexican embroideries.
I like to provide a deeper cultural reason to visit a country, with a focus on micro-regions or lesser traveled areas. A few stops in more well-known cities like Budapest, Lisbon, and Porto add balance."
We're delighted that Sarah will be running a workshop on Hungarian Written Embroidery on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 March for Selvedge.
Learn the history, technique, and culture of Hungarian written embroidery, the folk style that originated in Transylvania in the 1700s. Suitable for beginners and experienced embroiderers, participants will stitch a floral design on linen.
The 2-day workshop will include a lecture on the history of the work and women still practicing today in Romania, stitching demonstrations and practice, and embroidering a traditional pattern developed especially for this workshop.
Find out more about the workshop here: