I’m not talking about wool & silk combined into one embroidery thread, but rather, into one embroidery project. And, more specifically, into one element in one project.
The combination works!
Needle weaving is an embroidery technique that’s fairly straightforward. You work vertical “bars” of thread down the element you want woven, and then you horizontally weave the bars, alternating the over-and-under movement with each row. The woven helmet in the photo above is worked in this technique.
(It’s not really a helmet.)
The “warp” threads, or vertical threads, in that woven bit are worked in Trebizond silk, which is a nice, plump, twisted filament silk. Trebizond is a lovely silk thread that takes a bit of knowing to love, but it is truly lovable once you know it.
The story of why I married the Trebizond to the wool goes like this:
I had already selected the brown wool used in the piece (Fine D’Aubusson – it’s possibly the most pleasant wool I’ve ever worked with), but I couldn’t settle on the right color of wool for the warp threads. In a bit of a snit, I opened my “Miscellaneous Thread Drawer.”
I strongly advise against ever opening a drawer that has the word “Miscellaneous” anywhere in its content description.
I spent the next two hours sorting miscellany.
During the Big Sort Out, I came across a spool of Trebizond the color of warm honey.
Well, well, well, said I. Aren’t you just a lovely luscious little length of thread?
I set to work on the helmet, to test my theory that the two threads would like each other. And they did! The silk and the wool threads work well together. The smooth sheen of the silk glints in the light and shows up well against the muted wool. The silk also adds a legitimate look to the weaving – like the smooth, shiny reeds of a basket – while the wool offers a balanced hint of the rustic.
I really like the way the two threads play off each other, and I suspect the future holds some further explorations with the happy couple.
This Doesn’t Work
Would you like to know what doesn’t go well together?
Tiny Bullion Knots + Wool + Macro Photography.
They don’t go well together at all. In fact, the equation reads out like this: Tiny Bullion Knots + Wool + Macro Photography = Hairy Mess.
Good thing we don’t have Macro eyes, eh?
So what about you? Do you often combine different fibers in your embroidery projects? If so, what are some of your favorite combinations? Or do you tend to stick with one type of fiber throughout a whole project? Have you ever experimented with combinations and been disappointed in the results? What’s your take on combining fibers in embroidery? Feel free to share your thoughts below!