HNW - tambour work

Carolyn Kayta Barrows kayta at
Thu Sep 17 09:58:33 PDT 1998

Mike Newell writes, in a message sent 10:40 AM 9/17/98 -0400:
>Dear Susan-
>Many of us do needlework out of SCA-era, never fear!
>I purchased a nice wooden tambour hook from Hedgehog Handworks, and have
>these delusions of someday doing a Regency dress with tambour work on it.
>You know, that lovely Janet Arnold one, although she describes the
>embroidery as being crewel work.. I'm not sure what base fabric to use,
>although I realize the weave can't be too tight or the hook won't go
>through well. What do you suggest as a base fabric other than wool?.

Jumping right in here, I suggest you look at some of those gauzy-cottony
things like batiste which don't crinkle when washed.  I do Regency a lot
and see this used often.  Looks nice with a coloured underslip or lining.  

OTOH, some of the poly-wool things can be washed.  They're much hotter than
wool to wear, but in a suit weight it might not be so bad.  The needlepoint
wool comes in so many different colours that it might be good here.  I have
some embroidered shawls from Pakistan, and they use cotton or silk on thin
wool.  Silk would be nice and shiny (and expensive), but Rayon snarls and
tangles something fierce.

>What do you use as a tambour, or "drum", hoop, whatever? I hesitate to
>spend the money on the hoops Hedgehog Handworks has, neat as they are (they
>sit on a table and keep the fabric taut for tambour work. Would it work if
>I bought a cheap round quilting floorstand hoop? Will a regular hand held
>wooden embroidery hoop work as well?

My guess is that it will.  You may have to sand the wood smooth, or pad it
with another piece of cloth, to prevent snagging.

>I bought the medium and large needles, hoping to use DMC embroidery floss.
>I'm not sure how I am going to handle joining the ends, as I believe each
>skein is only 8 yards. I guess I'll work them in afterwards? Do you suggest
>I don't use DMC but use one strand of Persian needlepoint yarn? My fears
>are for washablility -- I want to be able to hand wash a garment with
>needlework on it.
>< I found an ivory lucet at a store in the box of kitchen stuff.  The man
>running the store thought it was an olive fork.>
>ROFL! An olive fork? Anyway, what a marvelous deal!
>SCA: Kathryn Goodwyn
>"too many centuries...too little time"
>Go to to perform mailing list tasks.
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