Sunday, 23 March 2008

Phase IV – Karahana

Phase IV is designed to teach the student how to work with metallic threads. Japanese metallic threads consist of a very narrow strip of paper with a metallic coating, wound around a silk core. The threads come in a variety of thicknesses, determined by the thickness of the silk core, and metallic finishes including imitation metals and real precious metals.

The weight of the threads are described by numbers #1, #2 etc. The higher the number, the heavier the thread. #1 and #2 are fine enough to stitch with but the heavier threads are couched onto the surface of the fabric.

On Karahana, I will be using three weights, #1, #3 and #4 real gold and #1 twisted real gold. I have chosen to work with real gold, rather than imitation gold because it is said to be easier to work with.

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

As always the foremost elements are stitched first, so the six raised elements in the centre of the flower are the starting point on this design. Starting with the foremost segment, each is padded and stitched before starting the next one. I have used 3 layers of padding cotton, then one layer of orange silk, starting with small stitches in the centre and making each subsequent layer slightly larger. I am aiming to create a smoothly rounded shape over which I will stitch a horizontal layer using #1 gold.

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

When all six segments are complete, they are outlined as one piece with a couched pair of #4 gold.

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

Padding is fast becoming a favourite technique of mine, I love the extra dimension that it gives to the embroidery.

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

Happy Stitching


Anonymous said...

Beautiful goldwork - I like the extra dimension the padding gives too.As always I am impressed with the neatness and accuracy of your stitches.

Bonfieldjane said...

I love following your blog, I am fascinated watching your work evolve. I find it curious that in Japanese work you work the foreground first is there a particular reason for this as in most other forms of embroidery you work the background first.

Jane said...

Hi Carol, looking good. I have to say I'm enjoying the bit of goldwork I'm doing on Treasure Ship - post to follow later today - but I don't think I'll ever do another piece which is completely worked in metallic threads.


Žabacorporation said...

Wow, this work's gorgeous!

Fabiola said...



Jackie said...

Goldwork looking really good, hope you are still enjoying it.


Mary Corbet said...

This is a fantastic example of padding and goldwork!! I have a hank of Japanese #1 (real gold), but I haven't used it yet. I think it might be fun to experiment with something similar.

Some day... some day...

Thanks for the inspiration!

KV said...

Simply beautiful . . .

Kathy V in NM

juanita sim said...

Red and gold, so joyful, just gorgeous! Your detail shots are also fabulous.