I’ve been fascinated by this for years – specifically the later centuries – 18th century and later.
Part of this is probably due to the fact that the University of Oregon Art museum has one of the largest collections in the US, and I got to spend hours and hours there when I was in school (and after) just looking at it. Especially interesting to me was the huge wall hanging of peacocks done in #1 japan silver couched down, and flat silks. And when I say huge, I mean it’s at least 8 by 12 feet.
The museum has changed a lot since I lived in Eugene – it’s expanded dramatically, and added to its Asian collections, making it even more tantalizing to me to get back there! (I think it may also have been renamed – or is finally broadcasting it’s name: the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.)
At the time I was there you could get very very close to the some of the stitching. I don’t know about now, but sometime this year I aim to find out! 😀