HNW - floss substitute-cotton or rayon?

Merouda the True of Bornover keltia at
Mon May 10 08:51:02 PDT 1999

I have done embroidery with both DMC cotton and DMC rayon.  So, it depends on
what you're looking for.  I believe that as to shiny, the rayon is better.  For
managability, cotton is better.

>From photos of extant embroideries prior to Elizabethan, say 12th-14th
centuries, the silk floss is pretty shiny.  I make the conjecture that it has
dulled a bit over time and feel that originally it was pretty darn shiny.  The
cotton just doesn't gleam the same way.  However, the cotton is oh so much
easier to use.  The rayon, when you pull 1 thread is kinky.  So if you do satin
stitch it's kind of well, poofy or slightly waved.  But if you do *small* stem
or split (split is a drag with any twisted fiber IMHO) stitches it's quite

For Elizabethan you could go either way.      ~M~

> One of these days I will get around to trying opus anglicanum, or nue',
> and Elizabethan-type work with detatched buttonhole stitch filling.  Until
> I gain some facility (and a lot of money) I'll be using something besides
> reeled silk.  As far as appearance goes, would cotton or rayon floss be
> better?

- --
Cynthia Long
Merouda the True of Bornover
Barony of Madrone
Kingdom of An Tir

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