Back in December, Christmas Eve in fact, I wrote about my mother’s tree skirt, embroidered using the candlewick technique. I was intrigued to try this rustic embroidery, but tracking down a ‘proper’ kit – let alone individual supplies – was not the easiest of tasks, at least in the UK (the technique is distinctly American).
But I persevered, and I found a simple snowflake kit that can be made into a cushion or wall hanging. I purchased it here.
Candlewick embroidery is traditionally stitched on plain muslin or calico fabric, using a special candlewick thread – adapted from the early American pioneers’ use of candle wick string to stitch embroidery designs on the muslin fabric in their meagre supplies.
The kit includes the design printed in water-soluble ink on calico fabric, candlewick thread and basic instructions – the technique traditionally only uses back stitch and colonial knots.
The main reason I purchased the kit was so that I could see exactly the type of thread used for candlewicking. It is never separated, and is quite thin and soft, like a light string. It is indeed different from traditional embroidery floss, and I imagine it will give a more rustic look to the stitches.
Before I even get started with the project, I was curious what floss might be substituted for candlewick thread, especially for those who don’t have candlewicking supplies available at the local haberdashery. I dug into my stash and found a range of floss, in shades of white and cream:
Above I’ve lined up, from left to right: the candlewick thread; DMC Cotton a Broder No. 25 in white; ‘normal’ embroidery floss (Sublime Stitching’s Milk Maid); and DMC Perle Cotton No. 3 in white.
The Perle Cotton is too thick and can’t be separated. But the other three are close, pictured below in the same order as previous:
|Photographed on some jollier fabric to increase visibility!|
Have you ever tried this technique? I’ll be back in later this month with my results!