Saturday, 1 November 2008

Let's Twist Again

In addition to the basic twists discussed in 'One Thread Fits All' there are a number of twist variations. Only one of these is a stitchable thread - boroyori. This is a 4->i twist but instead of the even 2+2 threads I reviewed before this is a 3.5 + 0.5 twist that results in a bumpy, irregular thread.

It is a challenging thread to stitch with. You needle a large-eyed needle to recreate a sufficiently large hole in the fabric for the thread to pass through. Also the thread needs to be re-twisted during stitching to maintain the twist and bumps. The stitch I have used here is staggered diagonal so the thread appears twice a thick as it really is. I have not used this thread on any of the designs I have been taught so far so do not know which stitches best suit it, I thick the double threads somewhat detracts from the look of the thread.

The following stitches are all none stitchable threads that are couched in place. The first three are katayori and variations there of. These twist variations can be of any thickness but I have used 6 strands of flat silk as the basis for each one so that they can be compared like for like.

The basic katayori is all silk, 5.5 + 0.5. The bulk of the treads are given an tight undertwist and then over twisted with the half strand. The resulting thread is wonderfully bumpy and textured.

In the first variation, kinkarami no katayori, one of the 5.5 strands of silk is replaced by a strand of #1 gold. The resulting thread is still bumpy but has the added appeal of irregular flecks of gold running through it.

Shinkin no katayori also incoporates #1 gold but in this instance it replaces the 0.5 strand of silk that is added in at the overtwist stage. This thread has a gold core. I was not sure how I should couch this thread. Normally I couch between the bumps using a 1->2 twist in the same colour silk as the katayori but this would cover the gold thread. Instead I couched on the bumps but the fine twisted thread shows against the much loser twist of the katayori.

The other basic twist variation is karayori.

For Karayori, the two strands have an equal quantity of thread, in this case 3 strands of silk each. Each strand is tightly undertwisted before they are overtwisted together resulting in an even bobble like a string of pearls. My 'pearls' have relaxed too much here and it looks more like rope.

This is a smooth version of karayori. The tread is only lightly undertwisted but tightly overtwisted. The resulting thread has a smooth almost glassy texture.

Here are all the couched threads together for comparison.

Here I have left a tail of thread uncouched to show it in its original state, although the twists have relaxed slightly.

You can click on all of the pictures to see an enlargement that show warts and all!

Happy Stitching


Mary Corbet said...

Aha. I get it. I didn't get it before, but now I realize that most of the twisted thread in Japanese embroidery is couched. I didn't realize that before.

In the first group picture, the second to the last thread on the right - can that be stitched through the fabric? I'm sure there's a rule in Japanese embroidery about which threads are to be couched and so forth, but if you wanted to, would that thread hold up to regular stitching?

Thanks for this information, Carol-Anne! I really enjoy your posts and learn heaps from you!

gwenddydd said...

Wahou !
I have found your blog by a link, and ... I LOVE what you do ! It's wonderful !