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. W I T H . L O V E . F R O M . S O M E W H E R E . I N . F R A N C E .

 

I am always drawn to these beautiful cards layered with so much history.  I have recently acquired a collection of these embroidered examples, they were passed to me by a lady who had collected them for years.  All she wanted was for them to be rehomed to those who would appreciate not only the stitches but the sentiment and history.  

Their story actually began before the war had even started, they were used for sentimental meaning and were a popular gift in France as early as 1900.  As the First World War began these postcards were adopted and sent to loved ones and families by soldiers from the Western Front.  Local French and Belgian women would spend hours hand embroidering these silk panels at home to earn money.  The silk panels would then be bought by publishing manufacturers and mounted into embossed cards and sold to the soldiers.  As the war developed some of the embroidery was produced by pre-existing technology such as Josué Heilmann's hand embroidery machine.  

As well as letters, these cards were the only way of communicating during the war, so fond embroidered titles and hand written messages held so much meaning.  These were favoured more than letters as they would travel through the postal system quickly, they were not as scrutinised as letters would have been.  So soldiers were allowed to say in less words, that they were well and that they had received previous letters from loved ones.  They were however, not to state where they were based, often they would sign off saying "with love from somewhere in France". 

In a way these were also constant reassurances to families that their loved ones were alive in France.  However it is sad to know that a lot of these men, who wrote these notes, never came home and that these embroidered postcards would be one of the few sentiments left that families and beloveds could hold onto for sentiment.  Our appreciation will never fade.

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