Types of Samplers

As mentioned previously, I have been fascinated by samplers since I began to stitch over 40 years ago. This fascination has made me very interested in the history of samplers and more specifically, finding out about the different types of samplers. As I was researching, I was amazed at how hard it was to find out about the different types of samplers.  Most sites I found discussed the history of samplers and what elements a sampler contained but few mentioned types.  The primary types I encountered in my research were:  lettering (or alphabet), darning, motif (aka spot), medallion, extract, architectural, marking, map, band, technical stitch, and genealogical information/commemorative (birth, wedding, funeral, family tree, etc).

The Textile Research Center (TRC) has a great website that describes all kinds of different types of samplers, when they became most popular, and identifies in what parts of the world they were most prevalent.  I especially enjoyed their  discussion Dutch samplers/samplers from the Netherlands, samplers from Mexico, Nasca (Peru) sampler, and Russian embroidery samplers.  The website can be found here

My favorite types of samplers are: map, spot, band, technical stitch, and genealogical/commemorative.  What are your favorite types of samplers?  What new type of sampler did you enjoy learning about most?

I also found several museum sites that had great information about different types of samplers in their collections.  My favorites were the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, and the DAR Museum.  Do you have a favorite museum with samplers?  Please share and provide the URL if it has a website.


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