HNW - goldwork-underside & pattern couching

lisaleon@hawaii.edu lisaleon at hawaii.edu
Sun Jan 21 16:54:09 PST 2001


Greetings,
	I'm trying to teach myself goldwork couching without much success
and have some questions that I hope someone could help me with.

	Until I get better I've been practicing with cheapie metallic
thread--DMC metallics from a spool (3 separate strands) and gold craft
thread from Walmart (2 strands plied together).  Are these okay for
practice?  What would be a better fiber to try?  Many of my sources say
that 2 strands were couched down together but the DMC individual strands
are too fine and Walmart just doesn't look right so I've been using 2
'bunches' of the DMC.

	What should I be using as a practice ground fabric?  I tried
cotton muslin and that didn't work very well for the underside couching,
although the pattern couching wasn't too bad.  Would a more loosely woven
linen be better?  I have different pieces with thread counts ranging from
about 40 to 55.  Would one of those be better? In photos of extant items
where I can see the ground fabric it looks close to the 55 count linen.  

	When doing underside couching how do you keep the 'pops' through
the fabric even?  Or does that just come with practice?  And how do you
keep your rows of laid threads even for underside _or_ for pattern
couching?  After awhile one part starts to skew over and when I straighten
a row to realign everything, there's a gap where the ground fabric shows
through.  Should I be lining them up with the warp threads in the ground?

	If you do pattern couching in a diaper pattern should the back
have long floats of the couching thread in a negative of what's on the
front?  I can't see how else it would be done but it just seems that
there's so much thread back there.

	*sigh*  So many questions.  I wish I could make it to a collegium
or one of Linn Skinner's classes but I'm at least an ocean away.  Thanks
for any tips or suggestions that anyone may have.

annora


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