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Saturday, July 18, 2009

All about BE threads - Part 2

Well, as promised in the Part 1 of all about BE threads, here's my stash of threads.First let me show you the organized one. Once they are cut, BE threads have to be stored separately, since there is every possibility of these getting tangled. For my current set of threads,I've a thread organizer .

These plastic organizers store about 16 skeins. They are pricey in the sense that you need to keep buying more if you've more threads. Seeing my craze for BE , Judy,a good friend of mine sent me this.

The organizer is pretty convenient as far as checking out the various types of thread is concerned. You can insert the tag on top as shown. To pull out each strand you've to be a little careful and gentle though. To see what happens if you're careless,just click on the first photo and have a look at the 6th skein from right :)

Now for the not so organized set,

These are the ones which are still unused - to start using Edmar rayon, you've to cut the skein under the tag -not the entire skein,but the part which is tied together with a small thread. See the arrow in the pic below.

Just move the tag slightly to one side and you'll find the knotted part. With a sharp scissor,cut it and let the thread unravel by slightly shaking it.

Here's my second set. Any beginner will be confused with the variety of threads available - I too was - but once you do a project,everything becomes easy.

The third set- each bundle reminds me of the dollars spent, and Iam hesitant to use them :) My dear dollars, come back puhhleeeaase....

Hmm.. that was a little something about Rayon threads. Though these threads are predominantly used for Brazilian Embroidery, you can use them for other forms of embroidery too. Believe me, the beauty of your work will increase ten manifold. Has anyone of you used it for surface embroidery? or for cross stitch? How do you store your threads ? Do you use boxes or bags? New ideas for storing threads are welcome. I need them.

Love, luck and sunshine,

Friday, July 17, 2009

All about BE threads

A lot of visitors to my blog have asked this question many times either through mail or comment - What thread do you use for Brazilian Embroidery ? Where do we get it from? I've replied everytime and today atlast the bulb in my brain lit up --Why not post the answer once and for all !!

So, here it is :

Brazilian Embroidery
is carried out with Z twist Rayon threads. The cotton threads we usually get for embroidery are S twist .They don't have the sheen or the lustre of Rayon. The stitch instructions with Z twist threads differ when compared to S twist threads .Unlike the 6 stranded floss, which can be split and used as needed, BE threads are not split - infact that's the speciality - there are 7 types of threads of varying thicknesses available to be used as needed.

These BE rayon threads are manufactured predominantly by Edmar in U.S.A . By Indian standards, these are pretty expensive - each skein ranges from 50 Rs (1$) to 80 Rs(1.5$). But if you fall in love with BE as I did, you wouldn't bother much about the expense,since the outcome is so beautiful.

Let me introduce you to the different types of BE threads from the heaviest to the finest in that order. Click on the image for a better view.

This thread is called Nova - its a very thick(heavy), 6 ply thread.

This one is called Lola - you can see the name on the tag - this is also heavy ( but not as heavy as Nova). It is one of the most commonly used thread for embroidering flowers ,stems and leaves. In India, the cone threads we get do resemble Lola. Unfortunately , for the other 6 types of threads there are no substitutes.

There is another thread called Cire (cee-ray) which is also heavy but loosely twisted.If you stitch the same flower twice with Lola and Cire, the look achieved will be totally different.

Frost, is a medium 3 ply tightly twisted thread which again gives a different look to the flowers. It is much lighter than Lola and Cire.

This delicate beauty is called Iris.It is a 2 ply medium heavy thread.

Here is the slim beauty of the family - Glory ; used for fine growth.This is the most delicate thread I've ever used.

And , finally, here's the special one - this one is name Boucle(boo-clay).It is a kind of knotted thread used for some special dimensional effect.

In any project, these threads are mixed and matched to create the beautiful dimensional effect. You cannot do BE with one type of thread alone. Imagine a floral design with just Lola...ugh!! - it wouldn't be pretty at all.

I hope this has cleared your doubts about BE threads. Next time I'll show you my thread stash .

Till then,
Love,luck and sunshine

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dori Embroidery

Today's post is about an embroidery method which is unique only for its name, the method of stitching is a well known one - infact ever since I did the outlining technique series ,especially this post, I've wanted to tell you about this. Well here's the pic :

What do you think this is? Guessed right!!! - Couching .This embroidery style is known as "Dori Embroidery" in India - It is basically couching with 'dori' ( thick thread).We also embellish the embroidery with stones,sequins ,beads etc.Here I've done dori work on the neckline of a top.Click on the image for better view.

The orange dori has been couched with two strands of metallic thread. Had I used one strand ,the effect would've been better still. Those black spots are pencil marks which will disappear once the piece is washed.

Here in India, we get special kind of threads called Cone threads. These are meant for Kamal Kadai work and dori work.

Does it need to be told why these are called 'cone' threads ? - quite obvious,isn't it?

I could've use this thread which is orange + metallic instead of plain orange couched with separate metallic thread. The effect would've been better. But Iam saving this for some one.

That's a little something about dori embroidery. You can also do abstract art with the dori as in this one :

Click on the image for a better view. If you're wondering what this is all about - well, it was a desperate attempt by me to hide some colors which had run onto my daughter's brand new skirt from some other fabric while washing. The skirt was her favorite ( and mine too) so I couldn't just let it go waste. Yours truly attempted a cover up over the stains using random couching with rayon threads and gave it a little shine using 3D glitters. Now this skirt is my daughter's 'MOST' favourite ;)
Hey!! , since I used Rayon threads, that makes it Brazilian embroidery too...two birds with one stone !!!

Time up!!! Do let me know your thoughts through your comments or mails. I love hearing from you.

Till next post,
Love,luck and sunshine,

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Cloud filling?

The climate outside is cool and windy with a bit of drizzling at times.Iam sitting inside, lazing around ,with absolutely no plans as of now to cook lunch - (but whether I like it or not, I've to..hrrmph!!)

And Iam pretty pleased with myself - know why? I've learned a new stitch- a very simple one. Hmm...what are you thinking now? -whether I'll tell you all about it or not? Ofcourse ,yes.If I don't share with you all,wouldn't I get a tummy pain? :)

The stitch in question is pretty simple,but I'd to try it out a couple of times to get the knack of it.Here it is -

This stitch is called Cloud filling or Mexican Stitch. It can be used to decoratively fill large areas rather quickly. This would look pretty on frocks and tops especially. You can use embellishments or french knots in the space in between. But special care should be taken to keep the foundation (yellow stitches) absolutely even. I'll show you what happens otherwise in the next few pics.
Here's how you go about this stitch :

Step 1 : Mark the foundation lines - make sure they are even and small. Also the spacing between the vertical rows should be more than what I've allotted. If these basic mistakes are committed ,your pattern will have a different look (scroll down to see what I mean)

Step 2 : Stitch vertical foundation stitches- Remember to keep it small and even.

Step 3 : Come up at the topmost row,just under the foundation stitch to start the looping.With a tapestry needle (preferably) go under the tacking stitches as shown without piercing the fabric.

Go down at the end of each row and start the same process from the other end. Make sure that the looping thread is long enough to cover a row.
Here's the completed stitch

Compare my first pic and the above one. Do you notice the difference? Which style did you like?
If you don't want to spend too much time in embroidering ,but at the same time want to show off your skills - this stitch is for you :) Infact I found quite a few similar stitches. I also found some other stitches being called by the name Mexican stitch - did you know that buttonhole stitch outlining is also called Mexican stitch? Sheaf stitch is also known by the same name - confusing isn't it? Here's the link to the Victorian embroidery page which contains some information about other mexican stitches.

Time for me to go. Till I come up with something else, tata...

Love,luck and sunshine,