What is a pomander? Historical sewing techniques

We are excited that The Make Escape are hosting craft workshops in the beautiful Conservatory!

Mia from the Make Escape is a lover of past stories as well as crafty pastimes, and has designed workshops inspired by history, and the famous occupants of the glorious House and Gardens. These workshops include stunning embroidery, iconic cameos, and scented pomanders.

Echoing the pastimes of Regency society, the embroidery workshop on Sunday 13th May will introduce attendees to variety of decorative sewing techniques, completing a hand-stitched design. Ornate needlework was a valuable skill for ladies at the height of society; and historical occupants of the house would have created designs inspired by the beautiful gardens and floral filled conservatory, as can you in this session.

Throughout history, cameos were a way to record the visage of a loved one and kept as keepsakes to treasure. Taking inspiration from Georgian jewellery and objects d’art featuring relief work, this card craft workshop on July 15th will use these iconic silhouette cameos as inspiration to make layered collages, for use as gift cards or display as home décor.

The September 9th workshop offers the opportunity to create a fragranced pomander ball. Pomanders, from the French ‘pomme d’amber’, referring to the apple shape, were scented items hung to improve the scent in the air, popular during plague years and beyond. Smaller versions could be worn upon fashionable outfits, often seen in historical painted portraits. Using luscious fabrics, you can create and decorate a stylish modern pomander filled with aromatics, to adorn your home.

The Grade I listed conservatory at Chiswick House is home to a stunning collection of rare and historic Camellias, and we’ll be using these blooms as the motif for the family drop-in workshop on 31st May. Crafting a colourful paper flower decoration you can take home a memento of your visit.

At her garden fetes Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire created pretty paper flower decor for her home and around the gardens. We’ll be re-creating this abundance of flowers at the Chiswick House Summer Party 8th July.

Book your place now: www.chiswickhouseandgardens.org.uk/whats-on