Silk Stitching Lessons- Illustrated History and Instructions
The earliest silk stitching has been dated from around 200 AD. Always a precious fiber, silk has always been coveted and even used as a medium of exchange. Silk is an animal fiber made from the fluid of the silkworm. In 2640 B.C., a Chinese Empress discovered that a silk cocoon could be unwound to give a long filament if it was placed in hot water to soften the natural glue that held the cocoon together.
Today, with the rising interest in natural fibers, embroiderers and quilters acknowledge silk for its practical and lustrous qualities. One touch and you'll know why - silk is luxurious in a way no other fiber can match. This luxury necessarily translates into cost - but one way to get more from your silk stitching fibers is to use stitches that are silk friendly. Silk friendly stitches are those stitches where most of the fiber is on the top of the fabric, where it can be seen and admired instead of being relegated to the back of the work.
Here I show you some silk stitches that you can use for band samplers, needle-rolls, or embellishment work for your crazy quilting that will allow your silk to show almost all of it's glory on the top - where it can be admired for it's sheen and beauty.
Plaited Braid Stitch Click on photo above for detailed, step by step instruction and close-up. A variation on the Braid stitch. The fiber for this needs to be tight or the stitch droops - corded fibers are best. A perfect stitch for silk pearl!! Use for band sample or needle roll bands or use as a border. Shown in Cotton Candy silk pearl #5 on 100% hand dyed silk uneven-weave 30/36 in Rose.
Spider Web Click on photo above for detailed, step by step instruction and close-up. Spider Web is a base of fiber that you weave on. There are many variations of bases, and weaving. Imagine it though in yellow as the center of a flower with silk ribbon for petals, in three sizes in white for a snowman, in black for a spiders body... Shown in Rose silk pearl #8 for a base whipped with lavender and rose silk chenille on 100% hand dyed silk uneven-weave 30/36 in moss.
Laid Triangle Click on photo above for detailed, step by step instruction and close-up. This stitch forms a triangle that lends itself to many variations - you can stitch the threads closely like shown here, or space them apart to get a more airy look. Useful for edgings and corners on ornaments, as part of a geometric pattern, or for a border. Shown in Rose #8 silk pearl on 100% hand dyed silk uneven-weave 30/36 in Mulberry.
Cretan Stitch Click on photo above for detailed, step by step instruction and close-up. A perfect silk stitch! The back shows only the smallest bit of silk, while the front is lots of twisted silk luxury. You can make the stitch tight like this one or open it up for an airier look. Use for texture, for bands in samplers, or borders. Shown here is Rose silk pearl #8 on 100% hand dyed silk uneven-weave 30/36 in Mulberry.
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