14th century projects,  14th century XL hood for Pelican elevation,  Applique,  Embroidery,  Gold Thread,  Materials,  Medieval Embroidery,  Projects,  Satin Stitch,  Stem Stitch,  Surface Couching

White 14th century XL hood for a friends Pelican elevation – embroidery .4 – how I created the embroidered Pelican patches .1

2015-10_Racaire_Sams_14th-century-XL-elevation-hood_PelicansIn my last posting about the “white 14th century XL hood for a friends Pelican elevation – how I created the embroidered Pelican patches” I wrote about the different steps of how I prepared the basic pelican appliqué. Furthermore I also showed you several progress pictures of my embroidery work concerning this first steps.

And today we take a close look at the very next step – of how I embroidered the two different kinds of golden beaks for the pelicans.

While the pelicans at the sides “just” got a very simple golden beak executed in Satin Stitch, the pelican at the front got a much more elaborated golden beak – but instead of wasting your time with any more words about it, let’s just take a look at the progress pictures – enjoy! 😀

Apropos pictures – lets start with a short review of the last progress picture from the last posting concerning the pelicans for the side of the hood:


And now let’s take a close look at the “simple” golden beaks:


At the picture above and underneath you can see that I actually used the very same stitch I already used to create the belt buckle for the knight belts – the (padded) Satin stitch. But this time I used the stuffed appliqué as padding instead of a basis of long stitches executed in 90° angle to the Satin stitch as I did for the above-mentioned belt buckles.

Concerning the “gold” thread which I used to create this golden beaks:
For this kind of “gold embroidery” I used a rather fine “Coats – Ophir” thread – a viscose and metallized polyester thread which does anyway not have enough substance to create an sufficient padding underneath by itself.
But this artificial “gold” thread has several pros – though I haven’t found it yet here at any of the local craft stores like Hobby Lobby or Michael’s, it is still easier to get than any real “gold” thread and by far more affordable. Furthermore it is also washable and doesn’t varnish – two quite important advantages which I wouldn’t like to miss.
And last but not least it also has a great benefit compared to Chinese/Japanese gold and silver threads – you can pull it through fabric without damaging the surface and therefore it is a great choice for fine “gold work” done in Satin stitch.


As you can see on the two pictures above and at the detail picture underneath – it really doesn’t need a lot of padding to create a round bodied beak with the (padded) Satin stitch.


But to achieve this round effect you really need to work the Satin stitch properly – the single stitches have to be placed as close as possible to each other and though it might seem like a waste of thread, you always start at one and the same side, go over your padding to the other side, stitch through the fabric on this side and return to the other side again.

This actually gives you (more or less) the same embroidery on both sides – at the front side as well as the back side. But this so created thread “loop” around the padding – when you theoretical strip this embroidery down to the base by removing all fabric and padding –  is one of the reasons why this stitch creates such a good round bodied appearance. Already the way in which this stitch is worked forces the thread to maintain it’s normal form – just slightly bending into form and creating the round bodied surface…

Whoever of you tried to lay a surface covering first layer of threads for the Bayeux Stitch/Reflisaum technique knows what I mean – whenever you “lay” several threads very close next to each other by just using very small stitches along the borders of the section will very fast encounter (the following example is for a stitch at the top worked from right to left) how the threads slightly break out to the right (for the thread going to the stitch hole) and break out to the left (for the thread going out of the stitch hole). This happens because the thread has a little bit of “natural resistance”, as I call it, against bending by 360° – it would rather remain straight or at least round….

Ok, well, I hearty apologize for getting so much side tracked here and for starting to theorize about one of my favorite subjects but unfortunately I think about things like this far too often… 🙂

Therefore let’s continue with the a little bit more elaborated golden beak of the pelican for the front of the hood and another short review of the last progress picture from the last posting before I started with the “gold work” embroidery:


To again achieve a really nice and evenly round effect for the borders, I also worked this “golden” beak in Satin stitch:


But, as you can see on the next picture, this time I not only used 1 gold thread – I also used two more threads: a very thin yellow silk thread as well as the purple silk thread with which I embroidered the outlines:


Though the padding at this place is quite thin, I would still have gotten a quite round bodied beak if I hadn’t applied the extra Surface Couching stitches with purple and yellow silk on top of the “gold” thread. This Surface Couching stitches press the gold thread down and lock them into place – just allowing the beginning and the end of the thread to slightly bend into a small curve which reflects the light at the picture above so beautiful.

The purple silk thread worked in Surface Couching creates a nice slit for the beak. Actually this simple purple line might be the most basic embroidery pattern you can actually create on top of “gold” thread. Add more colors and creativity and you can create elaborate “Or nue” embroidery like for example can be seen here at the: “Marienmantel des Meßornats des Ordens vom Goldenen Vlies (Pluviale)” on display at the Treasury (Schatzkammer) in Vienna, Austria

You can find a detail picture of one of the vestments belonging to the “Orden vom Goldenen Vlies” worked in the “Or nue” technique at the page “historical needlework resources” here: “Or Nue

Ok, at least theoretically we could create a quite similar embroidery – as my friend Elsa already proved very successfully and posted about on her blog “Elisheva’s Kitchen“:
A pouch in Or Nué technique“. And even Mary Corbet devoted a project and posting to this very special technique on her blog “Needle ‘n Thread“: “Or Nue: Goldwork in Color

Btw. – the purple silk thread is actually so thin that I had to double it while I was working at the outlines of the pelican. And here a picture of my embroidery set-up while I was working at this quite special pelican beak:


Yeah, working with three different threats at once can be quite demanding and stressful. 😉

And last but not least a picture of the finished pelican beak of the pelican for the front of the hood:

2015-08_Racaire_Sams_14th-century-XL-elevation-hood_embroidery_4_pelicans-13I already posted about the appliqué border embellishment in detail when I wrote about the progress of the knight belts, therefore I decided to abstain to take more pictures of this step while I was busy working at the pelicans. But as you can see on the picture above, I only made a rather simple 2:1 surface couching for the appliqué border embellishment – the same quite simple stitch which I used for the “…12th century Agincourt Heart for Bella’s elevation garment“.

To secure the appliqué border a little bit more – to keep it from fraying and securely in place – and to visually complete the pelican embroidery, I also added some more outlines executed in Stem Stitch on the inside. For the pelicans “eye”, “chest wound” and the “blood drop” I used some very lovely red silk thread and again the “padded Satin Stitch” technique.[emember_protected not_for=3-4 do_not_show_restricted_msg=1]

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I hope you enjoyed todays posting about the “golden” pelican beaks for the 14th century XL hood project for my friends Pelican elevation. I still have some last pictures about this project on my tablet which I will show you in my next posting and then I can finally move on to the posting about my “12th century white silk under dress with Trapunto” project.

A posting about a project I completed years ago but which seems to be still of interest and which I promised to revisit as soon as I finished all postings about this most recent project… M’lady, you were waiting patiently but we are nearly there… 😀

Best regards Racaire

Previous postings about this knighthood & pelican appliqué patches for the 14th century XL hood project for my friends Pelican elevation can be found here: