In 1599, Nicholas Hilliard painted an iconic portrait of Queen Elizabeth I wearing an intricately embellished gown, a gift from Bess of Hardwick that demonstrated her unwavering support of the Queen. It is that gown that was the inspiration for Royal Silk Embroidery, the debut design in our Schumacher Masterpieces collection, which focuses on creating the most rarefied patterns in an effort to support age-old techniques. With its lavishly embroidered mythical sea creatures, exotic flora and fanciful birds—each painstakingly hand-stitched on a fine pearl-hued silk-linen ground—the fabric captures the elegance and eccentricity of the original dress. Remarkably, it takes a team of 25 artisans—including weavers, dyers, embroiderers and more—a total of 30 weeks to produce just 100 yards of this exquisite fabric that contains 58 distinct, hand-dyed colors. We think it’s still a design fit for a queen!