Handbook of Embroidery

1880, by L. Higgin, edited by Lady Marian Alford






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Handbook of Embroidery by L. Higgin
Handbook of Embroidery
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Textile Fabrics used as grounds for Embroidery


Satins and Silks can only be embroidered in a frame. Furniture satins of stout make, with cotton backs, may be used without backing; but ordinary dress satins require to have a thin cotton or linen backing to bear the strains of the work and framing. Nothing is more beautiful than a rich white satin for a dress embroidered in coloured silks.

For fans, a very fine, closely woven satin is necessary, as it will not fold evenly unless the satin is thin; and yet it must be rich enough to sustain the fine embroidery, without pulling, or looking poor. A special kind of satin is made for the manufacture of fans, and none other is available.

Silk Sheeting” of good quality, “Satin de Chine” and other silk-faced materials of the same class, may either be embroidered in the hand, or framed; but for large pieces of work a frame is essential. These materials are suitable for curtains, counterpanes, piano coverings, [Pg 15] or panels, and indeed for almost any purpose. The finer qualities are very beautiful for dresses, as they take rich and graceful folds, and carry embroidery well.

Tussore and Corah Silks are charming for summer dresses, light chair-back covers, or embroidered window blinds. They will only bear light embroidering in silk or filoselle.

Within the last year successful experiments have been made in dyeing these Indian silks in England. The exact shades which we admire so much in the old Oriental embroideries have been reproduced, with the additional advantage of being perfectly fast in colour.

Nothing can be more charming as lining for table-covers, screens, curtains, &c.; and they are rather less expensive than other lining silks.

The fabrics known as Plain Tapestries are a mixture of silk and cotton, manufactured in imitation of the handworked backgrounds so frequent in ancient embroideries—especially Venetian. Almost all the varieties of Opus Pulvinarium, or cushion stitch, have been reproduced in these woven fabrics.

Brocatine is a silk-faced material, woven to imitate couched embroidery. The silk is thrown to the surface and is tied with cotton threads from the back.

As ground for embroidery it has an excellent effect.