Stitchery Part II: Tools and Techniques…

Through personal experience, I have found that needles of bone and ivory, although retaining a sharp point longer than other materials, are also coarser and more brittle, which causes them to break easily. Bronze needles are the best for embroidery as they have a smooth surface and are more pliable than modern steel needles.  A pliable needle helps to decrease sore and fatigued fingertips.

I am fond of Chinese scissors which made from iron and hold their edge well, and which are available in a variety of sizes from the bonsai section of your garden store, or your black powder / sutlers fairs if you are a reenactor. I also keep my grandfather’s pliers close at hand because it is sometimes easier to pull -rather than push- a needle through dense fabric or leather.  A Chinese pin cushion and a jade pin dish round out my kit.

Learn the rest of my favorite techniques by downloading the article:

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