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Comments on tapestry designs from a pattern book dated 1597

Frontspiece of Schön Neues Modelbuch 1597

Browsing the web, I cam across a wonderful book of patterns online. It's called Siebmacher, Johann: Schön Neues Modelbuch von allerley lustigen Mödeln naczunehen, zuwürcken unn zusticken gemacht im Jar Ch. 1597. Click here to see it.

It had various patterns laid out on a square grid, obviously for making tapestry or similar crafts. I particularly liked the creatures. The book isn't indexed, and it's quite hard to find the picture you want. Also the original print quality (of 1597!) isn't too good, so counting stitches can be hard. So I have reproduced the patterns that I liked on this website.

Click here for the index to the patterns.

I have tried to reproduce the patterns as accurately as possible. Nearly all the patterns were for borders, where you can repeat the patterns (possibly by 'mirroring' it) as much as you want. While these borders look lovely, nowadays we might prefer something less repetitious. So for each border, I give the basic unit as large format. Then I give a couple of possible designs from it in a smaller format (but you can still count the stitches). Finally I give the repeated border in a smaller format still, where you can't count the stitches. This was necessary as these were so long they had to be small, and the grid would have swamped the picture! But you should be able to work it from the basic unit. For many of the borders, I have given possible corners, and two dimensional patterns if I could. Since I find the creatures to be the most attractive parts of the patterns, I have also extracted the designs of them and set them up as separate patterns. Feel free to use them in your own designs.

I have marked this website as copyright. I do not claim the original patterns as my copyright, of course! I am merely maintaining my copyright of the format of my own website, and my lay-out of the patterns. However, I am quite happy for anyone to use any of these patterns for their own work, or for any amateur group to download them and distribute them for use within their own group. Please contact me (see craft index page if you wish to use them in any other way.

The designs in this website use grids which are marked in grey for each unit, and black for every tenth unit. This is to make it easier to count stitches. Click here for blank grids, if you want to do your own designs or modify the designs on this website. You can print them off and mark them with pen or pencil, or you can use Paint or some other similar computer program, where the paintpot tool is very useful for filling in squares.

I have worked a couple of these patterns myself - click here to see photos.