Selected vendor: A Stitching Shop - CO
Location: Denver, Colorado

Can you use silk threads in smocking?

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Silk is a fabulous thread to work with in any needlework technique, and there are many reasons silk has been used in needlework for centuries. It is durable, strong, and takes dyes on a deeper cellular level than any other fiber (that means you get really rich, gorgeous colors). Today silk is used in everything from fly fishing to knitting, needlepoint, cross stitch, weaving, and smocking.

Remember smocking? It's back. Once England's Prince George wore his cute little smocked jumper on his visit to Australia as an infant, smocking was back in style. Smocked sundresses are a staple in little girls' fashion, but fashion-forward children aren't the only ones wearing the style. Vintage-inspired embroiderers are embracing smocking for everything from wedding dresses to home decor and handbags. "I am on a campaign to get the word out that smocking is so much more than children's clothing," says smocking teacher Barbara Meger.

From the Middle Ages onward, smocking has been an embroidery technique with pretty but practical virtues. It may look like simple elastic-like pleating, but the sculpting effects, embroidery stitches and eye-catching patterns make smocking extraordinary. The most popular threads in smocking are cotton and silk, but you can use other threads as well—Kreinik metallic threads too!

The photos shown here are designs from Barbara's company, Classic Creations. This smocking and bead embroidery bag is created with Kreinik Silk Bella, a 100% pure very thin, fine silk thread. The design is called "Beaded Van Dyke Reticule."  You can find many of Barbara's smocking patterns online (search her name or company name), as well as many other smocking patterns. Substitute Kreinik silk threads, and your beautiful embroidery will be instant heirlooms.

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