Last week, I showed you how to re-weave the threads withdrawn from the fabric in order to produce a “clean” edge for drawn thread embroidery techniques. Here’s a little easier way to finish the edge of a drawn thread area.
This is perhaps the most commonly used technique for making an edge around a drawn thread area or an area of cutwork in embroidery. At the edge of the area where you want to withdraw threads, satin stitch over three or four threads to block the threads from being able to unravel from the fabric.
For the satin stitching, you want to use a thread that covers well. If the thread’s too thin, the fabric will show between the stitching and the edge will look really ratty. If it’s too thick, it’ll end up distorting the fabric. Here, I’m using a #12 perle cotton in 32 count linen. It worked ok.
Your satin stitches should be worked one stitch beyond the withdrawn threads. In the photo above, the arrows point to the hole after the last thread along with the withdrawn area.
If you’re withdrawing horizontal threads, your satin stitch blocker will be vertical. If you’re withdrawing vertical threads, your satin stitch blocker with be horizontal. If you’re withdrawing both horizontal and vertical threads, you work the satin stitches on a corner, as shown above.
Once you have your blockers stitched, you cut the threads heading into the blocker, right next to it, using a pair of fine, sharp scissors. You can cut the threads at the opposite blocker and withdraw straight across the strip, but I prefer to cut in the middle of the strip as well, to shorten the threads that will be withdrawn. It’s just easier to withdraw shorter pieces of thread!
In fact, if the threads are short enough and loose enough in the fabric, you can simply grab each thread individually with a pair of needlework tweezers and pull it straight out of the fabric without having to pry the thread at each weave. It makes a nice zipping sound, and, in a wink of an eye, it’s done!
The little fuzzy ends of the cut thread that are sticking out can be “wiggled” into the satin stitch area by running your needle under the satin stitching and moving it back and forth. I kind of “roll” the stitches towards the edge, and that helps pull the little cut edges in.
The advantages to satin stitching the edges like this are several:
1. Golly, it’s easy compared to re-weaving the threads! It takes a lot less time.
2. There’s something decorative about it.
3. The satin stitch blockers provide a great place to run your threads under for anchoring.
Now you’ve learned two ways to finish the edges for drawn thread work – re-weaving the drawn threads or using satin stitch blockers. Either way works. Which one you use depends, I suppose, on the look you want.