Another Review at MyShelf.Com

The Art of Bead Embroidery – Japanese Style
Margaret Lee

Inspirations (distributed in the UK by Search Press)
25 September 2017/ ISBN 9780992314477
How-To Books/Embroidery

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


Take your embroidery – and beadwork – to new levels with this book on Japanese bead embroidery This is a beautiful, large format book produced by Australian embroidery magazine Inspirations. Expect the usual high standard and nine stunning projects, as well as an accessible approach to learning this very different method of embroidering with beads. If you are used to the Western way, be prepared to need some extra equipment: a slate frame, laying tool and special wooden bobbins for example. The methods involve some unfamiliar techniques, which need to be mastered before you tackle any of the projects.

The book stays obligingly flat while you pore over the written instructions, backed up by some clear drawn diagrams on using the bobbins, laying tool, etc. as well as the stitches. The large pages lend themselves to an airy, well laid out appearance, which is a help when learning something so unfamiliar. By now you will realize that beginner embroiderers (and beaders) would be better staying away. This is very much a book for the experienced stitcher who wants a challenge and the rewards are certainly impressive.

The nine projects are beautiful, and each one has several large photographs showing their final appearance, as well as ample written instructions. There are no diagrams for these (all the learning takes place in the first section), but a helpful page lists everything you need as well as the techniques used, learning points, sequence of working and more. Pictures, various types of bag, spectacle case and a wedding pillow all have their patterns on a detachable sheet at the back of the book, and construction methods are also given. At the back are two case studies of projects where printed fabric was decorated with beadwork, plus a blank planning template for your own use. This book is a rare opportunity for the more experienced embroiderer to learn a largely unknown style of embroidery.

If you cannot find a good range of Japanese bead embroidery materials locally try for a list of suppliers.

Ebay has sellers which stock takobari (laying tools) and Kreinik manufacture the komas bobbins.

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in The Bead Magazine, Making Jewellery and
Reviewed 2017