Thursday, 31 July 2014

Module 4 - Chapter 5 - Drawn Thread Work

I selected a nice evenweave linen scrim and cut it into 7" squares. The linen was already a 'manilla' sort of colour, so I decided to try painting areas of bleach onto it to get a lighter 'off white' colour. This worked really well, but I now understand why Sian suggested painting with cold water dyes as when I washed the bleach out of the fabric, it frayed quite a lot. When it was dry I painted additional bands in a turquoise blue procion dye.
I mixed up a jar of dye, a jar of soda ash and a jar of salt so that I could mix a small amount of dye whenever it was needed, enabling me to colour just a few squares at a time.
I was reasonably pleased with the end result, but felt that the natural colour of the scim did not contrast highly enough with the bleached areas, so I painted over these with a strong tea solution.

Before re-planning my bleaching stage, I wondered if it was neccessary to wash out the bleach, so I tried a small sample & let it dry. I thought the bleach might affect the procion dye when I painted this over the top, but it didn't. The colours remained strong. As an added bonus, I didn't loose the firm handle of the scrim.

This achieved, I proceeded with the first exercise of the drawn thread work. Threads were withdrawn (in pairs so that the weave structure remained intact) from each square of fabric, forming different patterns.

Random groups of threads withdrawn horizontally.

Threads withdrawn in a pattern of 4x4

Groups of threads withdrawn to form both large & small holes on the fabric.

Groups of threads withdrawn randomly in both directions.

Threads withdrawn in fibonacci series.

Weave threads pulled sideways in both directions creating a distorted edge and also displacing the colours internally, similar to Ikat weaving.

Weave threads pulled inwards from the central area, creating loops and displacing colour. I like the way the holes are created when pulling threads from opposite directions. It forms a sort of contrast to the loop effect.

Several neighbouring threads were partially withdrawn. These were re-threaded into the weave in one 'clump' as a band and then anchored with a twisted knot.

The weave has been withdrawn in bands in both directions. The groups of threads have then been re-woven in rotating patterns. These were then held in place, and decorated with additional machine stitchery.


  1. There are some wonderful ideas here Julia - you are obviously enjoying this module!

  2. Looking good - my fave is 40509

  3. Some great ideas Julia - you are going from strength to strength. I love 40509 too.

  4. Lovely work Julia, I'm looking forward to this module