Thursday, May 26, 2011

Embroidery on Wool

This embroidery is stitched on black wool. Anyone who has stitched on black wool knows that each of those words presents a problem. Wool is impossible to draw on no matter what color it is. You can make some broad general lines to follow but nothing this detailed. 
And of course marking a pattern on any black fabric is difficult because of the lack of good transfer choices.
For this design I used a product called Transfer-Eze. It is a water soluble, adhesive backed, stabilized that you can run through your printer. After I finalized the design in Photoshop, I printed it out and stuck the white sticky back fabric to my black wool.
 
Here is the piece when the stitching is complete but I have not yet dissolved the pattern, which is the white background area in the picture above.
In hindsight the only problem I had with the product was not rinsing the piece long enough. I thought I was getting some dye discharge from the wool, and perhaps I did. But a bigger problem was not letting the transfer dissolve enough to enable the ink to rinse away. Just something to keep in mind.
One other advantage to using this type of pattern transfer is that you can make design changes as you work using the pattern only as a guide. Since the drawing will disappear you are not locked into a design.
Another caution I would add; don't press the piece with the stabilizer still on it. It seems to make the product harder to stitch through, as though it was partially dissolved and then re-hardened, which may be what happened.
My favorite part is the chain stitched border.

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