International Textile Collection

Louisa Pesel Collection



Greek embroidery

Louisa Frances Pesel (1870-1947) was a distinguished scholar, practitioner and educator of the art of embroidery. Until 1907 she held the post of Director of the Royal Hellenic School of Needlework and Laces in Athens. She was elected the first president of the Embroiderers Guild of England in 1920, and appointed Mistress of Broderers of Winchester Cathedral in 1938.

The Pesel Collection of collected and created works, bequeathed to the University of Leeds in 1947, consists of a total of over 400 embroidered items, ranging in size, stitching and provenance. The majority are of Turkish and Greek island origin, others emanate from Morocco, Algeria, Turkestan, India, Pakistan, Persia, Syria, China, and Western Europe. The collection also includes Louisa Pesel’s own pieces and samples, including her ‘models’ for Winchester Cathedral, and also an archival collection of her notebooks, photographs, articles and drawings*. Many of her publications are available to view in Leeds University Library.


*A list of the manuscript and photographic collection is available on request. Items from the manuscript collection are slowly being added to the catalogue in basic form in the first instance.


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