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In 1930’s Canada, curriculum projects and teacher training designated embroidery a girl’s activity, and girls were urged in popular magazines to combine “beauty with utility”, employing techniques that would beautify the home and make it more comfortable. This tea cozy would have been intended for a special occasion when the woman of the house displayed her finest china and silver on the tea table.





Where was this textile created?

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The Tea Table

Tea cosy
North America: Canada, Central Canada, Ontario
1933
Silk fabric embroidered with rayon thread, padding
30 cm x 37 cm x 10 cm
Gift of Joan Forsey
T93.0144 Textile Museum of Canada



Gladys and Clayton Forsey were given this tea cozy as a wedding present in September, 1933. It is made with two shades of silk satin, carefully hand sewn and embroidered with oranges and orange blossoms in satin stitch and generously padded, probably with kapok fibre harvested from a tropical rainforest tree called the Kapok or silk-cotton tree.

This tea cozy is a very fancy rendition of a very domestic and down-to-earth object. It does not look used, so sadly may never had the opportunity to show what an effective teapot insulator it could be.






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