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Sunday, February 1, 2015

Workshop: Italian Style Tassels

I recently attended a one day workshop on Embroidered and Italian Style Tassels, run by Christine Bishop for the Embroiderers' Guild Certificate Course. I am not enrolled in the certificate course, but guild members are welcome to attend. There were 20 attendees, 14 enrolled in the course, and 6 extras.

We were told to bring perle 8 and 12 thread in matching colours and some cotton tape. 

We learned quite a lot about Italian style tassels and learned to make three kinds.

The simplest was a "Turk's Head" tassel, so called because of its turban-like head.  This is a bit if a find as a technique, and would make multiple tassel making easier than the usual method.

The second tassel head was made by wrapping a roll of cotton tape in thread. The roll is first wrapped in thread to form 'ribs', which are used as support for a thread cover woven around the tape bundle.
The third tassel,we tackled was quite an elborate one, using needle lace over a rolled felt base.
I made fair progress with the second tassel, but realised half-way that I had not used the correct wrapping technique so my 'ribs' we're not raised on the outside. I swapped technique when I realised. I also had trouble getting sufficient thread coverage. I think I had the 'ribs' too tight, which results in catching some of the tape in the needle. I then went back over the work, adding more thread and also creating some additional pattern.
The third tassel I am putting aside for the moment. I may see if I can get some matching perle 5 and finish it using a larger needle. My eyes and patience are not up to working the whole tassel at the current rate of progress.

The workshop was nonetheless a lot of fun. The company was good, as was the learning. Once again, I'm grateful to Christine Bishop for sharing her considerable knowledge and skill. I also have a couple of useful tassels and effective techniques for making more.


Monica said...

It's nice to know how these are done, you could really go to town now with beads and embroidery.

Somehow this post popped up very late on my blog feed, but I'm glad to see it now!

Jillian said...

Monica, the dae appearing on this blog post is incorrect. While I began writing it on 1 Feb, it was not posted until 5 Feb. I don't know why this happened - it has not happened before and I hadn't noticed until you commented.
You are right about embellishment - all sorts possible.

Katherine said...

That would have been so much fun to do. I love tassels and like Monica says there are so many ways you can dress them up to suit the project!