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More about the rose embroidery for my friends hood .5.2 – some gold thread embellishment for the border of the rose leaf :)

2016-12 - Racaire - Talinas 14th century hood - roses - leaves - rose leaf - hand embroidery - medieval embroidery - SCA - gold thread

Woohoo! I am working on a super secret project at the moment! 😀

…and though I can’t really share any information or progress pictures concerning the new project until it’s finished and the recipient got it, you really don’t need to worry that I might take a break from posting until the project is finished. On the contrary! I took so many pictures of my recent embroidery and sewing projects that I can keep you quite busy until I can finally reveal my new, super secret project. 🙂

Which brings me right to the topic of todays posting. In my last two postings I showed you my two work steps concerning the silk shading embroidery for the rose leaves for my friends 14th century hood (rose leaf silk shading step 1 & rose leaf silk shading step 2).

And today we will take a look at the very next step – how I applied the gold border along the outer edge of the rose leaf – enjoy! 😀


As you might remember, I finished my last posting about my silk shading embroidery for the rose leaf with the picture above. Though you can see that the surface embroidery of the rose leaves (the silk shading covering the assigned sections) was finished at this point, the rose still looked quite unfinished and naked without the further gold outlines. Yeah, it’s quite amazing how much the addition of just a little bit of gold thread can change the appearance of an embroidery, isn’t it. 🙂

And now it’s time to take a look at the gold thread embellishment for the border! 😀

As you might remember from my previous postings, I prefer to work my “gold work” with an “endless” gold thread whenever possible. The thread is not really endless but it’s a term I like to use when I don’t precut my gold thread and work directly off the spool. This is only possible when I work with a thread which is meant to be used as the decorative part in combination with the surface couching technique. Which simply means that the thread stays mostly on the surface and that only the beginning and end of the thread will be pulled to the backside.

And here is how I started my gold thread for this surface couching:


I threaded my gold thread into a needle. Then, with the help of the needle, I pulled the gold thread to the backside as you can see on the picture above.

Then I threaded another, quite thin needle with some very delicate yellow silk thread for the surface couching and made two, very small stitches into the backside of my silk shading embroidery, “capturing” the gold thread at the backside:


And then I simply added some more stitches over the gold thread as well as the end part of the yellow silk thread. This way I secured the yellow silk thread and made sure that the end part of the gold thread stayed firmly in place: 


As you might notice at the picture above, I left a little “tail” of gold thread and didn’t really secure the thread like I normally would. Well, at this point I only intended to keep the gold thread out of my way and knew that I wasn’t going to apply a lot of force to it on the front. Therefore I decided that just some simple stitches would do the trick to keep the thread out of my way. However, I will secure the gold thread properly as soon as I finished the surface couching along the border at the front. 🙂

And after my last stitch with the silk thread at the backside, I placed my very first stitch rather close to the border of the rose leaf as well as to the beginning of the gold thread:


As you might have already noticed at the picture above, I left a little, tiny space between the border of the rose leaf and my first stitch. This little bit of space provides me with more than enough room for the second part of my couching stitch – the stitch back to the backside:


However, this is just a tiny detail and not really necessary if you make sure that you pulled your (silk) thread completely to the front – if you stitch through your thread before you completely pull it through, the stitch through your own thread will prohibit you from pulling all your thread to the front.

The gold thread on the surface used for the surface couching embellishment as well as the very tightly woven cotton fabric on the backside should successfully prohibit you from pulling your stitch to the backside – which can be quite an issue whenever you place your stitches that close together – something which is only desirable if you are actually working on an underside couching project. However, if it should ever happen to you – just pull your gold thread back to the surface and place another couching stitch over the top – with just a little bit more space in between your couching stitches.

And then I placed some more surface couching stitches with my very thin yellow silk thread along the border until I reached the point of my rose leaf:


…and then I “broke” the thread:


Well, as you can imagine, I don’t really break the thread but I think it’s the best term to describe what I did at this point. And needless to say – it’s much less aggressive as it might sound. 😉

I simply placed one stitch with the silk thread at the point of my rose leaf and carefully pulled and tensioned the thread to a position which is about 180 degrees opposite to the direction I want to proceed with my gold thread. Then I took the gold thread and carefully pulled and tensioned it to the opposite direction of my silk thread and even a little bit further. The silk thread on the “inside” serves as pivotal point for the gold thread and I advise to be quite careful with the tension as you really don’t need a lot of it to “break” the gold thread and you definitely don’t want to snap your silk thread!

This is how I “break” my thread and achieve a sharp bend at the pivot point which is not very desirable for straight lines but gives me just the sharp point I need here. And as you can see on the following picture, the gold thread, even after releasing the tension, tends to maintain its rather sharp point:


…and then I simply proceeded with my surface couching stitches until I reached the other side of the outer border of the rose leaf and here I did the same – I “broke” the gold thread again as described above:


As you can see on the picture above and underneath, I tend to place one last stitch rather close to the final “breaking”/pivot point, then, after I “broke” the thread, I place one over the pivot point and another one quite close on the other side. This three stitches help to assure that the gold thread will maintain its placement and stay as close together as possible:

2016-12_Racaire_Talinas-hood_roses_leaves_25…and then I continued with my rather simple surface couching stitches along the edge:


…and as soon as I got to the point of the rose leaf again, I “broke” the thread again as described before. 🙂 [emember_protected not_for=3-4 do_not_show_restricted_msg=1]

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I hope you enjoyed todays posting. And last but not least I will show you my finishing steps concerning the gold border embellishment of this rose leaf in my next posting. Stay tuned my friends! 😀

Best regards Racaire

More postings about the rose embroidery for this 14th century hood project can be found here:

…and even more postings about this 14th century hood project for my friend, Elisenda de Luna can be found here: