As an embroiderer, it’s often difficult to find shops that stock more exciting thread than just the standard DMC/Anchor floss ranges. It can even be difficult to find places that stock embroidery-suitable fabrics that are more exciting than 14 count Aida in white. This is why it’s always so exciting to find a place like The London Bead Co., which while formally being a shop for all things small and shiny, has one of the most beautiful thread collections I’ve ever seen. I think only Old World Designs comes close!Read More »
Tambour (seemingly known interchangeable as tambour beading or tambour embroidery) has been a technique that I’ve wanted to try for a long time. Tambour is usually a technique uttered in the same breath as ‘haute couture’ as it is often the technique of choice for adding the glitz and glamour to wedding and evening dresses.
When you think of embroidery, you usually think of a needle and thread, but tambour is worked with a hook, very similar to a crochet hook. It’s also a little bizarre as you have the back of the work facing you as you stitch with the ‘live’ thread or beads underneath. The reason for its popularity though, is because when you’re not fumbling around like a true beginner, it’s an incredibly efficient technique for applying beads and embellishments to fabric.
When I had the chance to try a class with Tambour and Clutch, it seemed like the perfect excuse to learn something new. However, I never thought I’d feel quite as out of my depth doing chain stitch as I did starting tambour!
Considering that there is a non-zero probability that I will combust at temperatures greater than 23℃, I do seem to spend my summers in some dreadful locations. This summer’s treat was heading off to Boston, Massachusetts because I was feeling terribly homesick for Kyoto’s hellish, humid summers.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been to the States and longer still since I’ve been to Boston. I was looking forward to seeing what parts I could remember and of course, visiting somewhere new means getting on the yarn shop trail.
It’s always a good day when you come home to find you have three rather exciting parcels lying in wait.
After playing around with the dyes last week, I’d ordered a few more acid dyes from Kemtex to make it easier to experiment with different shades. When I spoke with them on the phone they recommended longer steaming times (40-45 minutes) and using citric acid, as opposed to white vinegar, for its slightly lower pH. Vinegar is also relatively volatile, hence why it has such a strong smell when you use it, so it can evaporate while you work meaning the pH isn’t acidic enough to fix the dye properly, which isn’t an issue with citric acid. I think I might miss the smell though!