[personal profile] dragonlady7
via http://ift.tt/2u6gC0G:Keep Embroidery Fabric Tension Even by Binding Your Hoop:

Update on trying to teach myself tambour embroidery: this hoop does not hold fabric for shit. I had to get a hoop with a stand, because you need one hand to push the needle through, and the other to wrap the thread on the other side, and I didn’t have a third hand to hold the hoop in place. So, this expensive hoop with a stand? Well, the stand was expensive, I have no complaints, but it’s just a cheap wooden hoop and it can’t get tight enough to hold fabric. I had to give up on the thin fabric I started with, but I’d gone up through quilting cotton and was on to a heavy cotton and it was still slipping so much that I couldn’t get a reasonable tension on it.

So, I cut up a t-shirt into strips, and bound the hoop like it says to in this tutorial. In the hoop’s defense, it came with instructions for assembling it, and then also had somewhat-incomprehensible instructions for making some kind of hoop-cushioning out of muslin, like you were just gonna immediately do that. So I guess it’s not actually meant to work as-is, and you’re supposed to cushion it. But I couldn’t understand the instructions as written, so here’s this tutorial instead.

The very name of tambour embroidery, referring to a drum-head, indicates that the fabric has to be held very taut for it to work. I am still having such terrible problems with the hook snagging the fabric as I pull it through, no matter what I do, that I can’t even complete a sample doodle of embroidery– but I see how it works, and I understand, and I can tell that the problem is that the cloth sags, and then there’s nothing to pull against so the hook can clear the hole. You pull, and the fabric slumps over toward the hook, and the hook snags it, every single time. So you pull harder, and it snaps the fabric’s threads, and sometimes while it’s at it, snaps the working thread of your embroidery too.

So: the takeaway lesson here is, don’t even try to learn tambour embroidery if you don’t have an excellent frame. If you can push on the embroidery surface and it sags, then your frame’s not tight enough: throw everything away and save yourself the bother.

(Or: do something like this so your hoop is excellent. We’ll see if it worked, I have yet to get myself together to set it back up. I want to start learning how to do beads, but I’m not going to bother if I can’t master the basic stitch. If this doesn’t work I don’t know what I’ll do.)

As a palate-cleanser I spent an hour or so last night working regular embroidery, which I normally do without a hoop, and it was very pleasant and I’m not as slow as I remember myself being.



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