Recently an eMail with a question arrived my mailbox:
Was just admiring the pics of your 12th C. dress. Wondering – when you couched the pearls onto the neckline, did you just leave them on the threads they were strung on (i.e., is that strong enough), or did you restring them first?
I’m getting ready to attempt to replicate that red hat with the pearl pelican for a friend’s elevation – you had pictured from a museum trip.
Thanks – love your work!!!
Jaqueline de Molieres
I think that’s a good question for my “Ask Racaire” category – and here my answer:
…what I do depends on following facts:
I have many pearls that aren’t allready fixed on a string and I store them seperated by color and/or size in small boxes. When I need them, I string them on a very strong “Nylbond” thread from the company “COATS” – a very good and long lasting sewing thread – just to be sure that they will where they should be and this is also the thread which I use to sew the string with the pearls to the fabric – I can highly recommend it
All pearls which I used for the 12th century dress were single pearls and I had to string them first…
What else comes to my mind? …just a recommendation for the pearl embroidery – I worked the pearl embroidery with a very high tension, couching the thread with the pearls after every pearl to the fabric – the only thing that I would change the next time - a little bit less tension. Why? …to reduce the wavy parts of the embroidery which result of the high tension and even couching it a second time I just could reduce this effect a little because the tension of the pearl thread is too high…
…and here an example for pearl embroidery with less tension (still worked with a rather high tension but not as much as for the 12th century dress)…
pearls on a string
…is the thread strong and long enough? Take a look at the thread and let your feeling decide – some pearls are stringed on two threads and if the threads look good enough and are as long as I need them, I use them like they are – here an example, this small pearls were strung on two threads which looked very good and I had the feeling that I could trust them:
I normally “just” open one of the knots which holds the pearls in place and carefully fix the end of the thread inside the fabric and continue like I would with any other… be sure to leave some space between the beginning and the first pearls to give yourself some room to work with the pearls… as soon as you finished your circle,… or whatever… open the other knot and give yourself as much thread as you need to properly fix the end of the thread. Collect the ‘leftovers’ and if the threads of the remaining pearls are too short, you can restring them anyway…
I hope I could answer your question successfully
I am very happy that you love my work and I wish you many fun for your hat project with the pelican