Saturday, February 16, 2013

Silk ribbon embroidery

Silk ribbon designs: An Aloe and a Spider

Step by Step Tutorial

Silk ribbon embroidery

For this silk ribbon embroidery design you will need:

#26 Cake-decorating wire
Spider earring from flea markets (or nose ring!)
Straw Needle no 3
Crewel Needle no 8
Sculpture or Doll's Needle


Silk ribbon embroidery

Bullion Knots 
Needle weaving - Open Base Picot 
Needle Weaving - Closed Base Picot 
French Knots
Back Stitch
Straight/Stab Stitch 

Silk ribbon embroidery step by step

All 3 stems are raised off the fabric. Measure wire on silk ribbon embroidery design from base of leaves to base of flower. Add 1,5cm and cut. At base of leaves, take 1,5cm wire to back of work and secure with Stab Stitches. Wrap with a 70cm length of 2 strands Pine Needles thread. Secure the end of the wrapped wire with 2 Overcast Stitches on top of the orange aloe. There is no need to take the wire to the back of the work as the Bullion Knots hide the ends neatly.

silk ribbon embroidery

For the flower silk ribbon embroidery design make light orange Bullion Knots first. Use 1 strand of Rayon and no 3 straw needle. Start at the base and make 4 to 6 Bullion Knots to form the first layer. The silk ribbon knots vary in length. Then proceed to the next layer overlapping the first few Bullion Knots in places. Proceed up the length of the Aloe, changing to the Flame Lily thread as shown in the watercolour. At the top you will need fewer and fewer Bullion Knots until only 1 or 2 are needed to form a sharp point.

silk ribbon designs, craft,


Many people don't like working with Rayon thread, yet it is the nature of the silk ribbon  thread that makes for such perfect Bullions. The thread slips off the needle easily and springs back into shape when the Bullion is formed.

Silk ribbon embroidery hints

1. Before threading the Rayon silk ribbon embroidery, it is a good idea to run the thread across a damp (not
wet) sponge to straighten it.
2. Use short lengths of thread - about 25cm.
3. End off and start with a fresh thread as soon as the Rayon becomes fluffy.
4. Always use a straw needle to form Bullions. The needle is not tapered, so it can slip through the wraps without getting stuck.

silk ribbon embroidery

Silk ribbon embroidery: LEAVES

Use 1 strand of the Apple Green Perle thread and the same straw needle to make the leaves. Start with the most underneath leaf first and make an Open Basese Picot. I use the shorter sot! sculpture needle, also called a doll's needle (± 9cm in length) to work with. Pack the stitches tightly next to each other and keep an even tension.
For some of the leaves I used a Closed Base Picot. made with the same Svead for a sharper base.
Secure some of the leaves at the top with a tiny stitch while allowing others to stand free.

silk ribbon embroidery

Silk ribbon embroidery hints
* As you weave each stitch, push the previous stitches up towards the tip with your needle.
* Allow the leaves to hang loose until all leaves are completed. Move some leaves out of the way, where necessary, to fit the next leaf.

silk ribbon embroidery, silk ribbon designs, craft

Silk ribbon embroidery designs: GROUND

Thread a no 8 crewel needle with 2 strands Rustic Brick Stranded Cotton and make French Knots (2 or 3 wraps) at the base of the plant to balance the picture. Along the outer edges I used 2 strands of the same
thread and Seeding to add more detail to the picture.

silk ribbon embroidery, silk ribbon designs, craft

Silk ribbon embroidery designs: SPIDER'S WEB

Make the silk ribbon spider's web design: Refer to the completed spider web to help you.
Use 1 (or 2 if you like) strands of silver metallic thread and the straw needle. Make the spokes with long Straight/Stab Stitches first, remembering to anchor them onto the stem, leaves and sides of the panel for a more authentic appearance. Complete the silk ribbon web design with Back Stitch working from the centre outwards. Insert the spider earring through the fabric. Bend the stalk to flatten against the fabric and secure in place with tiny stitches.

silk ribbon embroidery, silk ribbon designs, craft

Hint:. If the stalk breaks off, don't worry; simply stitch spider onto web with tiny stitches using the metallic thread.

From Ribbon Embroidery and Stumpwork by Di van Niekerk


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