Monday, 6 April 2015

Chapter 5 Drawn Thread Work

I decided during the last chapter that I hadn’t decided upon a focus or colour scheme for this module and now, having decided that I like the idea of using material collected from a recent holiday in New York and Boston  I decided to look again at the paraphernalia I brought back.

I put together a digital page of images that I liked, these include stamps, pamphlets, tickets, maps and my own photos.

digital page

I was struck by the prominence of yellow and blue and prepared a cold water dye using these colours with the addition of a little black to make a slightly deeper shade. This gave me a beautiful indigo colour and subtle yellow. I used equal parts cold water dye, salt and soda crystals and stored the dye in a screw top jar

first thoughts 3

I used some linen scrim and painted the dye directly onto the fabric with a paint brush in blocks of colour. Sian had suggested sandwiching the scrim between lengths of cling film to form a package sealing the edges and then leaving it overnight. I made sure the colour soaked right through the fabric for a strong colour. This worked really well. I rinsed the fabric and left it to dry.


Drawn Thread Work - The first exercise

Samples 1-6

I tried making different patterns by withdrawing threads in different quantities both horizontally and vertically, I was very struck by the effects of the drawn threads and the colour ways.

withdrawn threads 1, 2, 3withdrawn threads 4, 5 and 6

Second exercise:

Sample 7 – The threads were pulled partially along the weave from the edges which served to displace the bands of colour. Sample 8: The threads were pulled up from the middle to create a loopy effect in the centre:

withdrawn threads 7,8

Sample 9:

The weave was drawn both horizontally and vertically to form a grid and the drawn threads woven back into the weave in various ways. I added machine stitching using the same complimentary colour ways [Coats polyester thread]  to strengthen the fabric, add definition and colour. Whip stitch in places added to the effect.

drawn threads 9

Sample 10

Partially drawn neighbouring threads were thread onto a tapestry needle and woven / darned back into the fabric from where it had come and secured with a twisted knot:


drawn thread 10

I was really pleased with these samples and delighted with the effects of drawn thread and the displaced bands of colour. I also loved the added dimension and definition brought by the machine stitching.

I’m now looking forward to more experiments with stitching into the drawn thread work in chapter 6.


  1. Beautiful colours Carrie and a lovely way to remember a special trip. Your drawn thread work is really successful - I particularly like Sample 9 with the medallions.

  2. Thank you Catherine, I really enjoyed the serendipity of the Drawn Thread work. Looking forward now to threading, weaving and stitching

  3. Hi Carrie, your blog is really interesting. And your explanations are great (was looking at your papermaking post too). I'm thinking of doing the Distant Stitch C&G too by the way so this is encouraging.