Postcards have long been an important part of our society. From sending endearing messages to love ones to being use in drawing in new customers, these humble cards have almost became a staple in communication. But before the modern postcards became popular and widespread, there is one type of post card that became widely popular during World War I—the embroidered silk post cards.

Originally, embroidered silk postcards were made in the 1900 for the Paris Exposition. But it was only during World War I that these post cards became utterly popular. The Belgian and French nuns were the first to produce these cards and sold them to soldiers to be sent to their loved ones back home. The first post cards were initially made from strips of silk mesh woven by the hand. Once completed, the strips were cut and mounted to the post card.

But as the cards became popular, the demand for it raised that creating them by hand was no longer appropriate. Eventually, machine operated looms were created to hasten the process. This machine is able to use 6 colors of thread allowing for creating post cards in colorful ensemble. That time, embroidered cards were s lucrative that people would do everything to invest in a machine just to manufacture post cards.

These embroidered silk post cards basically come in two formats:

Panel style — in this type of format, an embroidered mesh in rectangular form is fastened to the card.
Envelope style — the card has a panel where when opened reveals a card insert.

Back then, many subjects were highlighted in the post cards. In fact, the design of these embroidered cards came in 3 phases:

Phase 1. Hearts and flowers. The first design of post cards was simple. These were basically the pre-war designs so most of them were focused on colorful and lively hearts and flowers. These days, many post cards still have flowers as postcard templates. Well, who would not want an enchanting post card of bluebirds or pansies placed on top of your desk? They would surely be refreshing to look at.

Phase 2. Patriotic post cards. These cards basically emerged during the war. Most of the designs had patriotic messages embroidered in them to show loyalty and pride to the nation. With the patriotic cards and the pre-war cards, the card format mostly had flaps where the message is inserted. The common patrons of these cards were soldiers. Many of the card design have the same sentiments, only the flag of the soldiers were changed.

Phase 3. Regimental Badge Cards. This type of design was very popular during the war. But because they are personalized, they are somewhat pricey. Even today, these types of post cards are less common, and you need to pay high price if you want to get one for your collection.

When the war ended, the embroidered silk cards became less popular, perhaps because they evoked unpleasant feeling to the soldiers and their families. With war only a part of the past, tourism took off, making people want for views of landscapes and places much better than war cards. This caused many post card makers to go out of business. But those who continued shifted from post card making to producing strips of embroidered clothing and linen.

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