Thursday, 10 December 2009

Cord #8

I like to save the best to last.

That's not always possible in Japanese embroidery because there are certain 'rules' that should be followed. One 'rule' is that you stitch from left to right. Happily for me the 'best' cord is on the right.

Cord #8 is a double central braided cord. I think this is the most impressive looking cord and it is very satisfying to stitch. It needs a little more preparation than the other braided cords. A #4 imitation gold is couched just inside each edge of the cord and padding cotton is couched down the centre.

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

The design is formed by sets of left diagonals stitches alternating with sets of right diagonal stitches. Each set, consisting of 4 stitches, overlaps the preceding set resulting in a double row of diamonds. Because of the padding this cord is three-dimensional. I have stitched this cord in 4-1 twist of 905 gold silk. Although I was initially disappointed with the colours selected for me, this was one colour I was really pleased with. Further, the gold silk fades into metallic gold resulting in, I think, a really lovely cord.

I began the fading by introducing a strand of gold into the twisted silk and randomly substituting the all silk stitches with this thread. I then introduced stitches in gold metallic thread in the same way. Initially, I stitched with a single strand of #1 real gold half hitched on the needle (therefore stitching with the thread doubled).

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

I thought that the gold looked too skimpy. After consulting my tutor, I tried again with 2 strands of #1 gold doubled in the needle but not half hitched. I couldn't 'see' this working. I thought that the 4 stands of gold would bunch and look messy but Margaret, my tutor, is very experience and a beautiful stitcher. Having sought her advice, I was not about to reject it out of hand. I gave it a go.

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

Teacher knows best. This is heaps better.

Real gold is more delicate than imitation gold and doubling the thread in the needle causes more wear than half hitching. The gold shreds easily so extra TLC is called for stitching with real gold this way but I think the result is worth it.

Happy Stitching.


Jane said...

Wow, you are doing well on this one. Hope it'll be finished for the exhibition in February, would love to see it in person.

Textile Art Showcase said...

I can tell from your instructions that the process is quite complex but the outcome is wondeful. Very effective.

Plays with Needles said...

Woooo!!! That double central REAL gold is beautiful CA!