Sunday, 17 October 2010

module 2 Chapter 3

A traditionalist I am not.

The task for this chapter was underside couching, hmmm!

My first trial sample was on the velvet used for the previous couched samples, and although I wasn't very proficient, I was quite pleased with the result, having used a thick multi-stranded Madeira, couched down with a silk thread.


However the real challenge came when I tried a sample using silk backed with linen, with Kreinik metallic thread. It was very hard work pulling the metallic through to the other side, although I did learn the feel of the technique on this sample. As you can see I started with yellow silk and blue couching thread just to see where I was going.
The next challenge was to try making a pattern with the couching threads, I have to admit I gave up after the fist repeat as I knew this was definitely a technique that I was not going to master in a decade!


The underside.

Moving on to a bigger tapestry canvas using metallic like Goldfinger yarn was much easier. I painted the BG in shades of orange similar to those used on the Syon Cope. I then printed the BG with a curved window shape of the period. The maroon area was worked using double strands.


The underside.

Next up was experimenting with the sewing machine to produce an underside couching effect with whip stitch.

I looked at some of the border patterns on the Syon Cope and worked the next 2 samples with embroidery thread on the top and Kreinik thread in the bobbin. I worked the motifs with alternate small and large stitches, which gave a really nice effect in the light, especially on the silver sample. I then reinforced the pattern with a straight stitch and on the silver sample I used a pattern stitch to outilne it.



Both samples were worked on a single layer of calico. I would definitely return to this technique as I really like the play of light on the silver sample.

This sample was worked using two different machine patterns, with Coats Diadem in the bobbin of the zig-zag pattern and DMC Fil or clair in the bobbin of the other pattern. Again Calico was used as the base fabric and embroidery thread was used in the top.


This sample is worked by changing the start point on each row. I used a darning stitch and DMC Fil or clair in the bobbin, with embroidery thread on the top.


The last sample for this chapter was worked using Coats Diadem in the bobbin and embroidery thread on the top, changing the width of the stitch while stitching.


  1. well done! underside couching is not easy, secretly I think they have chosen the most difficult stitches for us to cover, just wait till the plaited braid stitch in the next module!

  2. Thats an amazing amount of attention to detail.