The Victoria & Albert Museum textile collection is superb, but one piece really takes the cake – a blackwork jacket from the early 17th Century, embroidered all over with flowers, birds, insects, and fantastical beats. The design is worked free-form in backstitch and tiny straight stitches, to imitate the woodcuts of the period.
The embroidery is disintegrating because of the dye used on the silk, but you can still appreciate the beautiful patterns from the thread holes left behind.
You can view more images of the jacket by visiting http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O137739/jacket-unknown.
The museum object number is T.80-1924.