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In Praise of Silk… Guest Blogger- Patricia Wood

January 5, 2012

One of the things I miss most about not living in Britain any longer is that some of the suppliers of specialist fabrics and threads are not as close as they once were.  Now that we can be connected a little easier online I have invited Patricia Woods of Mulberry Silks, a very old friend of mine to share some information about the great silk threads that she offers from the U.K. and that I love.   I have supplemented some of her thread photos with pictures that I have taken of silk historic embroidered items. Of course they are wonderful for contemporary embroidery too.  Gail

Mulberry Silk from Patricia Wood

Silk is a most georgeous and luxurious thread to work with and, although not the cheapest creative sewing thread on the market, it is considered to be the best.   Silk is smooth and easy to handle and is perfect for stitching and embroidery of all kinds – it is not ‘slippery’ or ‘springy’ as is often thought, but strong, hardwearing and so lovely to stitch with either by hand or with a sewing machine.

Color Palettes are personally selected by Patricia

The Fine silk thread (100/3) is great for the sewing machine, the Medium (30/3) can be used in the lower bobbin with the foot removed (there is a large colour range in both) and the Thick (10/3) (minimum colour range approx. 35 shades) can be couched with a finer thread but is too thick for the machine.

There is a beautiful range of colours in varying thicknesses to create a variety of stitches. The Connoisseur Range contains a cross section of Thick, Medium and Fine weights with a matt or shiny finish in one package.I believe more and more embroiderers, book-binders and even fishermen (tying flies) are using silk thread and although you may need to stitch perhaps more carefully, the finished product is a joy to behold and I consider well worth your time and effort

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18th C. costume from Bath Costume Museum - photographed by Gail on one of our tours to U.K.

closeup from costume - silk fabric with silk and metallic threads. Clusters of flowers were a special design feature of this period.

closeup of same costume displaying sequins and flowers on bodice front

sample of silk embroidery on silk damask from Wantage Vale and Downland Museum, Bucks. U.K.

Closeup of same sample in silk and gold threads

Silk threads on apple from chasuble at Winchester Cathedral, U.K.

Pat’s January Sale offers a 20% discount on all silk packs, Mini Topics, Silk Topics, Boxed Topics, Connoisseur Range and Palettes.    These can be viewed at www.mulberrysilks-patriciawood.com

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