blackwork cuff on an italian renaissance gown
I'm about to start a copy of a renaissance gown of Eleonora of toledo. I Found this very small painting in Berlin and at once decided to make this costume. Now there are many questions before the very beginning, and one of them considers the blackwork cuff of the white smock.
The border is a broad one, and Im searching for a pattern that comes close to the one on the painting (this is not the main problem). But there are two things, I'm thinking of and don't come to a satisfying result:
1: on the paintings of the tudor-time, it can clearly be seen, that the stitches are counted. On larger parts of the Elizabethan smocks (as can be seen in J. Arnold's wonderful book) the patterns are often done with stem stitch - do you think, cuff patterns were always counted because of the relatively small parts to be seen? Is this a special thing of tudor fashion, or was this kind of (counted) embroidery common also in Spain and Italy? On the italian paintings blackwork is not so often seen, above all, not in these all-over-patterns like in England. Would it be possible to do this special cuff with fine stem stitches too?
I would like to use fine linen, and I'm sure it will cause problems to do counted stitches as fine as then required by the fabric.
Thank you very much for advice!