La soffitta del tempo perduto...

....è là , nella mente e nel sogno, dove è possibile recuperare le speranze e le aspettative, dove volere è potere e tutto diviene possibile, dove la fantasia e la creatività non vengono strangolate dai ritmi di una vita frenetica ed il tempo scorre lentamente, dove la mente vola libera senza restrizioni, dove finalmente si è liberi di essere e ci si può rifugiare e prendere un respiro.

The attic of the lost there, in the mind and dreams, where is possible to recover the hopes and the expectations, where what you want is what you can and everything becomes possible, where fantasy and creativity are not strangled from the rhythms of a phrenetic life and time flows slowly, where the mind flyes free with no restrictions, where finally one is free of being and can refuge in and take a breath.

The Pomegranate - PDF instructions available

The Pomegranate - PDF instructions available

mercoledì 26 marzo 2014's time to start !

In the last months I have been focused about needlelace topic, the mirror I am re-acting has really a lot of parts made in this tecnique so was imperative to understand more about.
I started from threads... which kind ? thickness ? colour range available ?
In old Stumpwork needlelaces, different thicknesses of silk threads where used and silk size is related to the size of the needlelace one is going to make. From what I have seen in old works, a least two different sizes where used. Flowers, leafs and small elements where made in a very fine silk thread comparable with a modern 100/3, larger parts like dresses and grounds where obtained using a thicker thread comparable with a modern 40/3 or Perlè.
The old silk was less twisted than the modern ones available  but I believe it's nearly impossible to find on the market a kind of silk that matches perfectly with the old one so I will have to accept a compromise.
In the photo you can see different small tests, these are my final tests after having tryed many other silks that where absolutely not working well.

Devere 18 threads: is a 3 ply filament silk, S twist and has  a nice "body". It does not catch on hands also if is a filament kind and is a real pleasure to stitch with.
This size makes this silk a good candidate for small needlelaces, pity that the green gold called Basil is not available since many months so the colour range for historical  greens is not complete; good range of browns available.

Devere 36 threads: same as previous, double the thickness, same colour range of the 18 threads. Ideal for larger needlalce parts.

Au Ver A Soie 100/3: is a 3 ply spun silk, similar in size to Devere 18 threads.
Because is a spun silk and has a lower amount of twist, is a bit less "bodied" compared to the Devere 18 th. so needlelace comes out a bit "softer" but this is not a problem specially if corded buttonhole is used.
Has a great colour range ! This will be my choice for flowers and leafs.

Au Ver a Soie Gobelins: is a 2 ply filament silk, not very "bodied" and less twisted than the previous ones. Personally I don't like so much the look that this thread gives to needlelace as seems me a bit messy but this is just me.

Au Ver A Soie Perlè: is a filament silk, with a nice body similar to size 40/3 so much thicker than the others. Colour range available is pretty good and it's an easy silk to use.  I really like the look that this thread gives to larger pieces of needlelace so this will be my second choice for grounds and dresses.

Not shown but tested, Mulberry Silks 3 ply filament F40/3 is also a very good option to AVAS Perlè as is very similar , maybe a bit stiffer which in some cases is not bad. Good colour range available but is not listed in Mulberry  web site so ordering this silk is always a trouble as one needs to refer to the colour sets listed in the other kind of silk and ask to convert them in F40/3.

Coats Faro is a filament 3 ply 40/3 buttonhole silk, generally used by taylors to hand stitch buttonholes. Gives nice results like Perlè and Mulberry but I don't know if it is easy to get everywhere and I don't think it worths the research ( I found some spools  as bargain for few cents in a stock house that's why I have it).

Hope this helps...
And what about you ? What do you generally use or plan to use? Please share your experience and suggestions with stumpwork needlelace !