Category: Stitchery

Includes textile history, embellishment technique and Asian-centric DIY articles including a Tibetan tent and a Mongolian boot! Click on the title to access the printable document via download.

Stitchery Series Part V – Applique & More!

Appliqué can be as simple as applying a leaf to a surface, and running a vein down the center. It can also be as complex as embroidering a patch that is then appliquéd another surface, as was the case with ‘tablion’ in Byzantium.

Stitchery Series Part IV – Chinese Symbolism

The invention of the draw loom and the development of brocades allowed patterns to be woven into the cloth, which was often over-embroidered to augment the woven patterns (a technique I now employ on my hats…) 

Stitchery Series Part III – The Stitches

There are somewhere around 100 – 150 identifiable embroidery stitches used worldwide. I have only captured here those that are the oldest and most recognizable…

Stitchery Series Part II – Tools and Techniques

Bronze needles are the best for embroidery as they have a smooth surface and are more pliable than steel, which reduces finger fatigue…

Stitchery Series Part I – History and Fibers

This 5-part series begins with a very brief historical overview and comparison of embroidery between East and West…

Reconstructing the UlaanBaatar Boot

A friend and I stumbled across these boots in a military antiques shop in Seattle, and recognized them as traditional Mongolian footwear from UlaanBaatar.

Making a Tibetan Maikhan

The peaked roof of the 13th century maikhan was supported by a ridgepole, supported in turn by two upright poles. Guy ropes were made of yak hair and adorned with prayer flags, which served to both mark the guy ropes (notorious trip hazards), and to send prayers to heaven for the Buddhist inhabitants.

Replicating a Kingfisher Feather Hairpin

“…many beauties take the air by the Ch’ang waterfront… their embroidered silk robes in the spring sun are gleaming… and hanging far down from their temples are blue leaves of delicate kingfisher feathers…”

from “A Song of Fair Women” by Tu Fu