Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Chapter 3 Underside Couching

A. Underside couching Hand stitch

I started to follow the technique using quite a coarse tapestry mesh with thick wools but the scale didn't seem to help so I very quickly moved on to using bookbinders' muslin as a base.  This muslin has a fine even weave with visible holes but also has a lot of stiffener in it, obviously for bookbinder.  This stiffener proved very useful and I found I didn't need a hoop to stabilise the material.

3.1 I created a chevron pattern with green Perle cotton thread, similar to that seen in some of the borders of the Opus Anglicanum pieces

3.2 This piece uses a yellow Perle cotton with a metal strand through it to create a kind of basket weave pattern.

3.3 the backsides of 3.1 and 3.2 above showing the couching thread and the 'dots' of Perle coming through.
These samples were approx 3cm wide.

I actually quite enjoyed this despite it feeling like it was taking forever to do and it appearing to get smaller as you worked on it!  So much so that I started work on a small sample worked on velvet (before I realised that you were supposed to work through a linen layer too then pick all the strands of linen away- aargh!) - very unsuccessful, so bad in fact that a photo of the disaster will not be uploaded.  My admiration definitely goes to those Medieval craftsmen!

I had more success working on 32count linen and put a few samples in my chapter 1 research book on Opus Anglicanum - not quite completed yet....

B. Underside couching machine stitch

3.4 I picked a background of homespun cotton, hand dyed brown which was stabilised with a woven interfacing.  This first sample was intended to show 4 different squares but I reckoned that the stitch length change was not great enough and there was not enough contrast between the top and bottom threads.

3.5 This second one was more successful and a diamond was more obviously produced.

3.6 I found that keeping the lines of stitching evenly spaced was quite difficult, but may have been less apparent on a larger scale.

3.7 Here the stitch type was changed between plain and zig-zag.

3.8 Here some gold lurex thread was used in the bobbin.  Perhaps greater contrast between the top and bottom threads would have been better.

1 comment:

ferinn said...

I'm in awe,this looks very time consuming and technical.Well done!