brakes on, put it in park!

Oh dear, i just can’t stop looking at these Central Asian embroideries!

If i win the lottery this week, i AM going to buy this piece 🙂 It’s a steal at 9500US–look at the workmanship and beauty!

PLEASE, click on the photo to see those gorgeous details! I’m reasonably sure the whole thing has been done with ONE type of stitch, “ilmok”, a double buttonhole forming shapes.  From the 1800’s, it’s a good bet too that the colours were created with natural dyes. Though synthetic dyes were first being produced around 1856, these people were highly unlikely to have access to them. I think too that the panels were worked by several embroiderers and then pieced together, as there are mismatched seamlines, different qualities of stitch, and more simplified areas, none of which detracts from the beauty of this. (AHA> i was correct: )

It’s also huge, given the fact that it’s handwork, a whopping 5foot4 by 8foot4! You can see the whole, and more detail here.

As to the “brakes” and “park”, i am making myself stop looking at photos and sites, and doing the work these inspire. Since i intend to mount the pieced chunk i’ve been working on (previous posts) on a background, i thought this stitch would make a lovely addition and emphasis/accent to that.

HA. Buttonhole stitch is one of the easiest to do, probably one of the first every embroiderer learns in the beginning. To get the effect and look however of that above? Well, firstly, take a look at the size of those stitches in relation to the weave of the fabric used. MIN IS CULE. I mean practically microscopic! I tried to be as tiny as possible with the finest cotton thread i had (one i intend to dye) and still couldn’t get the effect i wanted, with that defined line along the edge of each row. Nope. I *might* be able to do it with a silk thread, but have realized that much effort is not worth my time. I had intended to do only rows, not massed coverage BUT! These extremely skilled artists have a phenomenal talent and infinite patience!

A valuable lesson learned about threads as well: the type, twist and fineness does not guarantee an effect. My cotton thread, while “perfect” was also too rigid to get the fluidity and “spread” i needed; a silk would “fluff” more, even as a fine thread. (Wool of course is the best for that.) I’ll still dye it, as different weights and plies are wonderful for accenting certain stitches or creating different textures, but will be passing on the miles and weeks of trying to cover a large area this way. Using a variety of threads can have very interesting outcomes:

Same stitch above, different weights and fibres, from the first FrankenStitch course i taught online in 2011.

Thinking now that the background will be treated somewhat like i did “Instinct” with the rows of straight stitch:



EDIT: Didn’t win the lottery, so will have to content myself with wiping the drool off the monitor once in awhile…….

2 responses to “brakes on, put it in park!

  1. I was fortunate enough to see some of these in Rajasthan, India, with the couching stitch no less . . . so impressive and far too expensive for me! I’ve also watched a woman using a tambour to make chain stitch and she was much faster when compared to a needle, although to cover the fabric entirely would take a very long time of sustained effort. It would take me forever and the rest of my eyesight! It was like watching magic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Someone near me has some of the Uzbeki work and i’m hoping to see it in the flesh! I’m really thinking a tambour hook would be nice to add to the tool box too 🙂


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