HNW - Tambour beading

Reid, Andrew (MED_GEN) reida at
Thu Sep 16 16:23:10 PDT 1999

Hi List,
I have a book (not with me unfortunately) which give a lot of detail about
tambour beading, and from memory credits the development of the technique to
the 18th c or later.  I'd need to check this.  I've read in several books
that lightweight sheer fabrics like organza are best, providing the size and
weight of the beads are matched to the lightness of the fabric.  You can use
heavier fabrics though.

The work must be stretched very tight in a frame, even tighter than for
regular types of embroidery, as it's the tautness of the fabric that helps
you get the tambour hook down through and then back up through the same hole
without snagging other threads.

My SCA household just bought me the most beautiful (and frightfully
expensive) book called "The Fine Art of Embellishment" for my birthday, and
this has a wonderful section on tambour beading.  The example shown was a
long straight shift made with several layers of black sheer fabric, the top
layer has decoration around the neckline and hem of intertwining leaf sprays
done in dark grey 'haematite' coloured beads.  Gorgeous.

So many projects, so little time.

(SCA - Bartolomeo Agazzari.  Innilgard, Lochac.)

"If at first you don't succeed.  Redefine 'success'..."
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