This is the rabbit hole I’ve been down today. Medieval blackwork embroidery:
All of the above examples are from medieval portraiture except for the photograph, which is from (here). There is a gorgeous reproduction of the cuff above, which is from Holbein’s portrait of Jane Seymour during the Tudor era. This version was done by Alexandra Gray (more info here).
I’ve found a few great sources for this on archive.org–one is a book from 1532 from Alessandro Peganino, because when I go vintage, I go VINTAGE. Here are some of the illustrations it includes:
The original book is available for free (here). I’m hoping to incorporate some of these designs as trimming details on some of my 1920s tunic attempts!