Guest Fest, al-Barran
Meet People and Learn Things

Duchess Elisheva bat Simon Halevy
March 22, 2007

Her Grace brought her embroidery books, examples, stories and handouts and showed and told us many things.

If anyone wants to work on an embroidery project of has ANY questions, Elisheva has answers or knows who does. Her library is wonderful, and she is willing and enthusiastic to share what she knows.

Unfortunately there was no teenager there to operate the camera, and so the imperfect photos are by AElflaed, with apologies.
This was an example of couched gold. The detail doesn't show, but the sample below shows a few methods of couching—of sewing something on top of other cloth.
Materials were discussed. Linen embroidery floss is very expensive. Cotton is readily available.
Silk embroidery floss is hard to find, but rayon can pass for silk and is less expensive.

Crewel embroidery is technically only wool on linen.

This book was highly recommended, The Grammar of Ornament, in Dorling-Kinserley Edition, which is for sale used through Amazon

Elisheva said you can't just mix and match entirely, but that you need to choose one facet (fabric or thread) and then get the other to go with it, to make it work. Once you know what material you're going to use you can buy the right needles.

For transferring the design, people can use chalk, markers, tailor's chalk (comes in white or black), by sewing over a piece of thin paper on which the design is drawn and then tearing away the paper, or with a wax pencil transfer—trace the paper pattern with the wax pencil, turn it over and iron it onto the cloth. The wax design will show on the cloth and wash out later.

Those present were Elisheva, AElflaed, Viviana, Jacqueline and Amy.

A link to Mathilde's Medieval and Renaissance Embroidery Page was brought to the Outlands list the week after this session, and Her Grace wrote:
All you fledgling embroiderers - and those who were at the Guest Fest Embroidery class last week - check this out. FANtastic! and great documentation of each piece. I am in awe!


Other links: Gammer Gurton's Needle a needlework meeting in al-Barran the first and third Mondays of each month, at Delia's house in April 2007. There is a page of photographs of projects produced by members of that group.
Guest Fest main page with past and future information