Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Vernaaide linten: The Ribbons of Marken, The Netherlands

This is my daughter Tracy Horner at 7 months on the island of Marken
I have been interested in this embroidery for years.
Marken island, in the Markermeer bay off
Volendam in the Netherlands, is a very picturesque
village. The women, as part of their national costume,
wear small white, dainty, lacy caps with embroidered
ribbons which are usually tucked inside. The patterns are
elaborate and no two women make the same design. In fact
the designs were kept secret and never shared for many
years. Each woman had many ribbons and decided
which to wear according to the day or occasion.
Christian holidays had special biblical ribbons.
The Geloof, hoop en Liefde (Faith, Hope and Love)
were for confession or when banns were published.
I first found the patterns on my friend Gigi Ries site in 
Belgium. Scroll to the archives and you will find wonderful
pictures of Marken and even more wonderful pictures of
antique embroidery and Gigi's new patterns to buy. Gigi is my
friend of many years from our stitching group in Portland.
Yes, she flies all the way from Belgium for this! Also we get
to see her at the TNNA shows.
I lived in Germany for quite a few years. Tracy was born there and
when she was 7 mo. old we traveled to the Netherlands and Marken.
Unfortunately I had no clue to the wonderful embroidery then!
Gigi's picture of a Marken girl with ribbons.

Couple wearing old costume (1966 picture of mine)
5 little darling boys on a hay barge

My favorite picture of the dykes and bridges

fisherman working, note wooden shoes

local fishmonger
Lots of people strolling with baby carriages

Woman on Marken with cap but I can't find the ribbons!
Probably tucked under. Note the embroidery on the
back of the cap.
This lady was not too happy having her picture taken. In the next picture, she was scowling at me! Pretty curtains.

Doing the wash on Marken, lots of aprons!

Flower seller. It was April and we just came from the Keukenhoff (another story)
Heroic, Determined, Merciful  (Heldhaftige)
This pattern is from Gigi's private collection of antiques, charted by Margreet Beemsterboer
for Kunst and Vliegwerk.
The linten were almost always embroidered in
black on white and have aged to a dark brown
in many cases, as Gigi's antique piece below.
One of Gigi's original pieces, see initials of original embroiderer at edges.

Gigi's bands charted by Joke Visser, pattern purchased atKunst & Vleigwerk
My sampler from a compilation of patterns
I started to do the "Coat of Arms Sampler" on the
Yahoo group with Martina Dey but got a little
waylaid doing my favorite bands from
Johan Sibmacher's Schon Neues Modelbuch 1597
and then the Vernaaide linten and heaven only
knows what other motifs I will add. I will stop
 a little before the 55" of the linen. I am using
Carries Threads crimson silk and plain natural 36ct. linen.
Bird band from Joke Visser's vernaaide linten pattern (K&V)
      The alphabet is from a French source in the 1500's. I am having more fun than you can imagine
researching the 16th century patterns. They are
all over the internet now, with charts. Check out
the blogs and university libraries. It helps to have
"Patternmaker" to organize charts and fit to size.
In other words, I am not getting too much work
done around my house!


  1. Not sure how I found this post but am very glad that I did. I am fascinated by the Netherlands, its people and culture. Thank you for sharing these wonderful pics! I made a Christmas ornament a few years ago using a reindeer motif that is exactly like the one pictured on the "Coat of Arms" sampler!

    1. Chris, Thank you so much for your nice comment.

  2. Cynthia, your CoA is going to be gorgeous! Thank you for posting Gigi's originals and where they can be purchased. I just recently fell in love with Marken Samplers!