Brazilian embroidery, and needlelace are all forms of raised
embroidery, a 3D style that uses padding and wire as well
as the stitches themselves to produce a raised effect. Particularly
popular in the 17th century, it was one of the more advanced
and ornate styles, and the right instructions can make it
accessible to modern stitchers.
This book fortunately contains instructions, photographs and
diagrams which do just that. It forms part of the RSN series
and is of the same high standard as all of their books, debunking
the mystique surrounding this more challenging style and making
it accessible and fun. After a very brief look at raised embroidery’s
history, there is a short section on what you need, which
is the usual kit for hand embroidery plus a few extras. Here
the fun part starts to emerge as you can be a magpie and collect
not only lots of different threads but beads, buttons, charms
and found objects like feathers, shells and scrapbooking embellishments.
Learn the stitches, discover how to prepare frames and pad
your work, and then tackle some projects. Everything in this
book comes with good sized clear photographs and plenty of
them, so you can easily get some of the trickier stitches
right. The three projects are a brooch, a phone sleeve and
a biscornu pincushion, chosen surely because they have a direct
link back to their 17th century equivalents. There are also
lots of photographs of items decorated with raised embroidery
and, although I would have preferred more projects, it is
interesting to see what other uses you can put the style to.
Armed with your new knowledge of raised work, you can start
to devise your own pieces, which makes this a book suitable
for beginners and those embroiderers who want to try something
new. One for the keeper shelf.
If you cannot find a good range of embroidery materials locally
try www.searchpress.com for a list of suppliers.
Reviews of other titles in the Royal School of Needlework
RSN Book of Embroidery