Within the Gothic Revival, architects, most notably A. W. N. Pugin and G. E. Street, had promoted embroidery with the vigorous conviction that it was a vital and serious practice. Many of the finest vestments and other embroidery of the Gothic Revival were architect-designed, but it is often forgotten how often the makers' art was valued.... By the 1890s, with the impact of art-school training, embroidery, especially at the Glasgow School of Art, became an experimental, innovative craft. — Lynne Walker (126).

[Thomas] Wardle's wife, Elizabeth, also is worth attention. A lot of women worked in the [textile] industry, but a more genteel pursuit was embroidery, particularly in making tapestries and banners for churches.

Sometime around 1879, Thomas and his wife Elizabeth set up the Leek Embroidery School. — "Thomas Wardle"

Church-Related Embroidery

Secular Embroidery


"Elizabeth Leeke Wardle." Geni. Web. 26 January 2016.

"St Edward's Church, Leek." Staffordshire Past Track (Staffordshire County Council). Web. 26 January 2016.

"Thomas Wardle." Stoke & Staffordshire Local History (BBC archives). 6 January 2016.

Walker, Lynne. "Women and Church Art." In Churches 1870-1919. Studies in Victorian Architecture & Design (The Victorian Society). 3 (2011): 121-43.

Walton, Cathryn. Hidden Lives: Leek's Extraordinary Embroiderers. Leek: Churnet Valley Books, 2014.

Last modified 26 January 2016