Sometimes, when choosing ground fabrics for different types of embroidery, working up small samples to compare results is a good way to discern better from good. Often, once I work up a sample, choosing the better ground fabric for an intended project is much easier. But sometimes, I found out that either fabric will do fine – which is the case here.
To decide between two different types of linen for embroidering monograms, and especially for shadow work monograms, I worked up two samples, one of which (monogram M in shadow work) I’ve already shown you.
Today, let’s look at a different monogram worked on a different linen, but with the same threads and stitches.
This monogram A worked in an embroidery technique called shadow work is worked on Legacy’s shadow work linen, which is essentially a handkerchief-weight linen.
This is the previous monogram M worked in shadow work on Legacy’s linen cambric.
They pretty much look the same, don’t they? But in fact, they aren’t.
I’ve backed both pieces for the above photos with blue fabric on purpose. Because the fabric behind the linen is blue and the stitching is blue, the shadow work does not stand out as clearly. But the two different fabrics stand out a little more clearly. At a glance, they may look the same.
But if you look closely at the A compared to the M, you can definitely see more “texture” in the fabric. The weave of the shadow work linen (monogram A) is not as close or as fine as the weave of the linen cambric (monogram M).
Here, you can see the shadow work much better, because the embroidered fabric is backed with white.
Ahhhh – the back! I still love the herringbone stitching on the back!
Here’s the shadow work linen in the hoop. Here, you get a sense of a little more open weave.
Though the weave on the cambric (the M monogram underway in the photo above) is not quite as open, the cambric is such a fine linen that the shadow from the herringbone stitch on the back shows through well.
So, two linen fabrics made for embroidery, both by Legacy: shadow work linen and linen cambric.
Both fabrics work well for shadow work. The cambric has a finer, closer weave and a much smoother hand. It has a softer drape.
The shadow work linen is slightly more transparent, as the weave is not as close. Because the weave is not as close, it’s much easier to prepare, compared to the linen cambric. It’s much easier to see the weave when cutting, and it would be much easier for drawing threads out for hem stitching and the like.
Both fabrics are super easy to transfer designs on by tracing because they are both fairly transparent.
This is one of those situations where I can’t say, “I like this fabric better,” because both are really good linens! I think it depends on what I plan to do with the finished piece. If I want to work up some kind of linen with a hemstitched edge, for example, I would probably go with Legacy’s shadow work linen. If I were working up a pretty, delicate handkerchief with rolled hem (or maybe a scalloped hem, in buttonhole stitch), I would probably choose the cambric.
In either case, they’re both nice fabrics. I’m going to be working with both of them a bit over the next couple months, so you’ll see them resurface in the near future!