Part 2 Determining the surface, color and material
Some time ago I wrote in part 1 that my embroidery design process starts with collecting and filtering. I then concluded with: If the composition is to my liking, I finalize the mood board or collage and then it is ready for the next step.
Good to know that I literally used my mood board as an embroidery design, but you can also use it purely for inspiration and make your own design.
This time I give tips for determining the type of surface, material and color.
It is important to think in advance on each surface you will be embroidering on. And there is so much possible. A material that is often used is, for example, (Calico) cotton, but you can also use linen, organza, velvet and silk as a background.
The effect is of course also very different when you use a transparent fabric or not. It also depends on the type of embroidery technique and which materials you use also determines your choice (can the base fabric support the material?) You can imagine that a richly decorated work with beads and sequins can be many times heavier than embroidery thread alone.
This time my eye fell on a transparent silk organza in white. This is a) very strong and b) I really like the effect of the background shining through.
Also consider whether you are going to frame the work or not. Or will it stay in an embroidery hoop?
Determine material and color
Choices, choices, choices!
I really enjoy finding this out, but with all the options it can also cause you stress. How I choose my materials:
1) Which techniques will I use? This also determines what I will use and what is suitable. I will go into this in more detail in part 3 (design transfer, sequence and techniques).
What makes it easy in any case is that in this case my mood board already determines which color the design will be. You can of course deviate from that 😊 To get a little more variety, I added the color ocher yellow.
2) So I started by looking at which yarns/beads and sequins I had in my closet in the colors: gold/ochre yellow-copper-black and white.
I already had it in mind that I wanted to use lace so that was 1. Tip: by putting your materials together on your mood board or design you can immediately see whether something works or not.
3) I also thought it would be nice to alternate the flatter parts with clusters of beads/sequins combined with wool. This creates a height difference and that is interesting to look at.
There are faces in this design. You can fill this completely with a satin stitch and yarn. In this case I chose to purely accentuate the face shape and eyes/nose and mouth with black thread.
A few golden "rules" (which of course you don't have to follow at all ;) that can help you choose your materials. Think:
1) matte versus gloss
2) flat versus 2 or 3D
3) dark versus light colors
4) alternate with shapes (round sequins next to tubes for example)
5) fine and coarse materials (lace and wool, for example)