Definition of intarsia in English:


Line breaks: in¦tar|sia
Pronunciation: /ɪnˈtɑːsɪə


[mass noun, often as modifier]
  • 1A method of knitting with a number of colours, in which a separate length or ball of yarn is used for each area of colour (as opposed to different yarns being carried at the back of the work): an intarsia design
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    • Individual colours can be tinted to order and various intarsia designs can be milled onto the Durat surface.
    • Printed knits with vintage flora, graphic symbols, graffiti and ethnic motifs will stand alongside true intarsia rose knits.
    • The Animal Knits book has some great intarsia patterns for kids sweaters/blankets, etc.
  • 2An elaborate form of marquetry using inlays in wood, especially as practised in 15th-century Italy.
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    • The intricate intarsia (inlaid wood decoration) of the studiolo also illustrates how innovative art of the period required the purchasing power and political authority of influential patronage.
    • This includes cottage crafts, intarsia woodwork, beautiful lampshades, jewellery, embroidery, candlewicking and heaps more.
    • The carved chests and the intarsia tables could not be found in the miserable huts of the poorer strata.
  • 2.1Inlaid work similar to intarsia but in stone, metal, or glass rather than wood.
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    • Here the detailing was fine and at the corners inlaid with an intarsia of different obsidians polished smooth.
    • In the 1480s he was involved in a variety of commissions, including a design for an intarsia pavement and the execution of the monument to Bishop Piccolomini, both in Siena Cathedral.
    • The candy-striped Duomo must be the only Christian church anywhere to host - on the intarsia marble floor - a portrait of that old neo-Platonic magus, Hermes Trismegistus.


from Italian intarsio; in sense 2 superseding earlier tarsia (from Italian, 'marquetry'); the knitting term dates from the mid 19th century.

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