Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Brazilian Embroidery, Anyone?


Amazon Books

No, I didn’t jump from my decision to begin a whitework embroidery sampler yesterday, to delving into Brazilian Embroidery instead! But it isn’t unlikely that I would take up a Brazilian embroidery project, under certain circumstances…

One circumstance would be that the project would be small and affordable. Have you seen the Threads in Bloom website? Sharon of Threads in Bloom is an experienced Brazilian embroiderer who has gone into designing her own Brazilian embroidery projects and selling them as reasonably priced instructional packages. When I happened upon her website, I noticed right away her Bird of Paradise design. I have a penchant for these flowers – but I’ve never seen one in dimensional embroidery. Pretty fascinating!

I haven’t tried any of Sharon’s kits, actually. But they apparently come with the design printed on the fabric, instructions for the project and the stitches in it, and wire and extra fabric for different dimensional parts of the project. You provide the thread…

The thing that I like about Brazilian embroidery – I’ve played with it a few times in the past (I bought my first Brazilian embroidery book about 16 years ago – it was one of my first embroidery books that I bought with my own money!) – is the dimensional aspect. It incorporates many of the same techniques as stumpwork, so it’s a good way to get a taste of stumpwork. Overall, I find that supplies for Brazilian embroidery (especially kits, like the ones here, or instructional books) tend to be less expensive than those for stumpwork.

One notable difference between Brazilian embroidery and regular embroidery is that, with Brazilian embroidery, rayon threads are the threads of choice. They’re z-twisted threads, so you’ll probably notice in most stitch instructions that some of the stitches that depend on the twist of the thread are backwards, compared to other embroidery books. The bullion knot comes to mind – it’s widely used in Brazilian embroidery, and with rayon threads, to get a nice looking knot, you wrap the thread the opposite way you normally would around the needle.

Anyway, for those of you interested in Brazilian embroidery – or if you’re keen to try dimensional embroidery in general – take some time to check out Threads in Bloom. You might find a nice starter project to get you going!



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(6) Comments

  1. Hi Mary,

    What a coincidence! I was also thinking of doing a Brazilian embroidery project. However I am not a great embroideress like you. Your works are awesome. You give importance to even the minute details. The goldwork you posted yesterday was very lovely. It reminds me of the goldwork embroidery which my mom, my sis, and I did on the border of a skirt 10 years before. I could still remember, it was a dark violet skirt on which we embroidered gold flower petals. The work was very tedious. It took almost one month to complete. But everyone liked the end result. Sadly I don’t have that piece with me now.

    At present I am doing a long and short sweet pea project. I have applied the tips you share on this website. Your website has been an inspiration for me. Thanks for helping us through your website. This is my blog, http://www.florascolors.blogspot.com, where you could see the progress of my work.

  2. Hi Mary,

    I have developed this new interest in Brazilian embroidery but we do not get the rayon threads ot the Milliners needles in India. Can you suggest some alternatives till I can get hold of the actual materials? Are there any equivalents?

  3. Hi, jayashree –

    Do they have what is called “art silk” in India? I’ve seen it on eBay, and the source is usually India. Art silk is rayon, or viscose, or a combination of silk and rayon. You might try that. I’m not sure if the twist is the same as rayon…

    Maybe, instead of milliner’s needles, look for “straw” needles. They’re the same. If you can’t find those, try sharps. They’re not the same, but they’ll work in a pinch. Hope that helps!


  4. I am interested in all stitches. Embroidery is a coping skill. I’m currently looking for stitches that are easy on thread but cover large areas. Would love to hear your recommendation on areas to go. I have Sara’s stitch dictionary and various other stitches from Pinterest.???

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