Thursday, 12 June 2014

Addition to chapter 8

I’ve decided to re-photograph the fringe piece with the fabric pinned to an erect board to ensure that the edging beads were hanging down to show them at their most effective.011

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Chapter 8. Beads.

In this chapter I collected many different types of beads within my colour scheme [turquoise and red / orange]. I had beads of many different materials, shapes and sizes in my stocks and enjoyed searching seeds and pips and re-discovered a beautiful shell necklace given to me by my Aunt [ throw aways are my treasures].

I sourced glass and ceramic seed beads and bugle beads, pearl beads of many types plus others of irregular shapes. I dyed the seeds and pips and shells to fit in with my colour scheme [very satisfying]

002bead types key

I forgot to add these bugle beads in the photo above:


Sewing beads on and making a bead sampler:

For this I chose a piece of my dyed cotton and backed it with muslin to support the weight of the beading and stretched this in my embroidery hoop to support the sampler as I worked [I didn’t appreciate the value of this until my bead sampler was complete and removed from the embroidery hoop and was surprised at the weight]. I used a strong sewing thread – one of each colour to add a contrast – and drew each length of thread through a piece of bees wax which served to toughen it. I used a very fine needle to ensure easy threading through the tiny lumen of  some of the beads

I worked across the fabric in the hoop introducing different beads and  patterns / methods of application. It was fascinating to see just how many different ways of working came up.  I’ve posted the sampler below and placed a key alongside it:


sampler key2sampler text

I’ve added a reference for shisha below taken from Embroidery Techniques from East and West by Munni Srivastava from which I reminded myself of the wonderful shisha stitch with which to apply the mirrors. I then outlined the shishas with chain stitch with which I trapped the shisha under a piece of net.

shisha workings ref

I realise that I haven’t marked the shisha on the key and these can be seen at the centre bottom and just to the left.

Beads as edging:


I thoroughly enjoyed this chapter and loved the sparkling spangly look and feel of the glass and ceramic  beads. As mentioned earlier I relished the rustic effect of the painted seeds and silky lustre of the shells.

Time spent: approx 19.5 hours

Expenses: 2 packs sequins £2.78, 2 packs seed beads £2.78, bees wax £1.99