Sunday, 6 June 2010

Striking a cord

Courtesy of our Embroiderers' Guild lending library, I'm currently reading (and thoroughly enjoying) a book published in 1977 called Textures in Embroidery by the late Valerie Campbell-Harding. One of the many techniques described in the book is an easy method for making wrapped cords. I've broken several needles in the past trying to do this in FME mode and never really been happy with the results so I had a go with Valerie's method today.

This is done with feed dogs up and presser foot on and Valerie suggests using 1" strips of old tights or stockings. I'd actually got three brand new pairs of tights in various shades of blue - no, I had no intention of ever wearing them but they were reduced to 50p a pair and I never can resist a bargain! So, scissors in hand, I sliced a strip from each pair. Holding one end of the strip behind the presser foot, you need to stretch the 'front' end and pull it up at about a 45 degree angle between the 'toes' of the presser foot. With the machine set to the widest zig zag and short stitch length, off you go, keeping up the tension between your hands so the tights remain stretched.

When you get to the end of the strip, if you want more of the tights covered with thread, just feed the strip under the foot again (you won't need to stretch the strip this time - just keep gentle tension front and back so it remains in the centre of the presser foot).

Having made several lengths with tights, I tried the same method - except without stretching - with various wools and ribbon yarns. Not a broken needle in sight!


Gina said...

I'd love the chance to teach you how to do this with FME and not breaking needles!!! Your results look good though.

Helen Ann said...

I'll have a go at this too, it looks like a fun technique