HNW - cotton or rayon floss

Sun May 9 16:29:51 PDT 1999


You were asking about cotton or rayon floss for working.

I have recently taught a class on or nue work, and do a bit of Elizabethan
embroidery with detatched buttonhole filling (dead easy to do).

I use stranded cotton floss for 2 reasons - one is that it is a more natural
material and as you are only using 2 or 3 strands, it has a nice sheen to
it, and two - rayon is really slippy and is very difficult to keep an even
tension with because of its slipperyness.  

I actually don't recommend anybody using rayon floss for period style work
at all, and I've never run accross an embroidery competition where they have
marked down for using stranded cotton (unless using silk is specified in the
comp - which is really rare!).

Have fun with both styles - they are great fun and make some stunning

For your Elizabethan work, there is a rather good New Zealand publication
called "Exploring Elizabethan Embroidery" by Dorothy Clarke (published by
Georgeson Publishing Ltd in New Zealand).  Unfortunately I don't have an
ISBN number, but I beleive Georgeson have a web site.  This books looks at
basic stitches used in Elizabethan embroidery and also has some projects in

There are nice colour pictures of completed pieces, and also they have
published a couple of other books in the same style on Elizabethan work.

It's well worth looking at, and obtaining.  If anybody likes, I have the
e-mail for Georgeson Publishing at home, and will post it tomorrow (I think
I have their web site address too, but am not sure).

Megan McConnell
Collections Officer
GPO Box 288, Brisbane  Q  4001
ph (07) 3362 1361   Fax (07) 3362 2422
E-Mail:  megan.mcconnell at

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