I had the honor to contact the author to ask for permission to use her work to complete what I spontaneously started doing by seeing the photo of the fabric in Zoe Mitsotaki’s book. From her book I receive the information that the embroidered floral decoration on the fabric concerns lilies, papyrus, crocuses, sacred ivy and rosettes. Also from the information in the book we learn that lilies are found in the frescoes of the palace of Knossos, in the “Villa of Lilies”, in Amnissos and in the palace of Agia Triada. We also learn that “butterflies resemble ‘like a divine form of the soul, appearing as a symbol of the Resurrection.'” I thank Zoe Mitsotakis for accepting me, for her spiritual contribution to Culture and for the permission she gave me and I hope to be worthy of this honor with my whole attitude in life but also with the aesthetic result of my present effort.
As far as my experience of dealing with this three-foot work, “the Lilies of the Prince”, is concerned, the effort and fervor required for its completion is enormous. The work emerges after the first fifty centimeters of weaving and embroidery, and in a width of one hundred and eighty centimeters, where we can only see vertical lines in earthy colors. Up to this point, persistent repetitions are required with small differences in measurements that are still of great importance in order to create the gradients of the stems, thin ashes and papyri and that end up at their top in a “little house”. “House” in embroidery on weaving, we say the cluster of three adjacent threads that define half a square from the pattern of embroidery, as it develops from the bottom up. The other half is created in repeating the next row/row, where the squares are completed vertically. All representations in embroidery are made by counting the “houses”, which define the design by juxtaposing them in a specific rhythm of arrangement horizontally. They are in a row embroidered widthwise, adjoining without distances or with distances of certain “houses”/semi-squares, always. Each “house”/cluster of three threads is separated from its neighbor by a single warp thread. The pairs of threads that pass next to the scallop define the “plain”, the area of the weaving that is simply woven. There is a very dense dispersion in the emergence of the floral decoration and such that it allows the minimum distance of one square from one crop to another, sometimes. Perhaps it is no coincidence that we talk in Weaving about “planting”, when we have to fasten the thread with which we embroider the decoration. Maybe because it’s mostly plant-based.
It concerns a project that requires great patience and perseverance, as until the floral decorative themes of the fruits and flowers are formed, the repetitions are preceded by the creation of the stems in full array and dense arrangement. Suffice it to say that to proceed a single series of embroidery to the width of 180 centimeters, corresponding to 2 millimeters of a total of 385 centimeters of the length of the work, it took more than an hour, up to the height of the stems.
The warp used was white cotton mercerized and the ecru weft cotton thread of the bird. The exact dimensions of the fabric after removing the ounce and gauze to stabilize the edges of the fabric are 173 cm wide, 380 cm long. Its weight is about three kilos. It was embroidered with threads in DMC double skeins and with the technique of triopatiter found in many areas in Crete.