One of the traditional applications of the art of embroidery is the monogram, a symbol formed by interlocking letters representing a person’s or a company name’s initials. Personal monograms typically include an individual’s first, last, and middle initials (in that order), while monograms for married couples most often incorporate the initial s of both first names and the shared last name. Monogrammed towels and bed linens are popular wedding gifts, while a shirt or blazer might bear a corporate monogram. The following are some interesting facts about monograms, compiled by experts in embroidery in Overland Park.
The oldest monograms date back to 350 B.C. when cities would stamp the first two letters of their name into coins. The initials interlocked to form a recognizable symbol just as they do today. Ancient Greek and Roman rulers also used their initials on coins manufactured in their kingdoms.
Kings and noblemen used monograms to mark their property, from clothing and linens to weaponry. Monogrammed objects thus acquired cachet among the general population. Among nobility, the custom had a resurgence of popularity in the Victorian period.
Artists and sculptors have used monograms to mark their work. Like a signature, a monogram can also be highly individualized and considered a reliable marking of ownership or origin. This custom was popular among artists in the medieval period.
One of the most well-known monograms is the interlocking “IX” used to represent Jesus Christ. The letter “I” represented his first name in Greek, and the letter “X” stood for the Greek word for Christ. This symbol is known as a Christogram, and its earliest version resembled a wheel’s spokes.
Modern British royal couples use a two-letter monogram, one initial for each first name. However, Prince William and his wife Catherine broke that particular tradition because their initials “WC” also stand for “water closet,” or bathroom.
Nowadays, the most famous monograms represent fashion designers. Coco Chanel’s “CC” monogram is one of the most recognized logos in the world. Other iconic fashion monograms include the vertical “YSL” for Yves St. Laurent, CK for Calvin Klein, and the mirror-image, interlocking “Gs” for Gucci.
Adding a monogram to an item of apparel can make a special gift or simply give your own belongings an extra shine of high class. One company that provides embroidery in Overland Park is House of Apparel.
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