Using colour

To make my stitched drawings I use rayon embroidery thread and now have a collection of approximately 100 colours. However, this vast collection of colours are still not perfect for my needs and just like an artist who may use paint, pencils or pastels, I have to manipulate my threads so that I can achieve a realistic finish that will cause a discussion about the work.

reels thread
Reels of rayon embroidery thread

After carefully studying the colours in the image, I choose 2 different threads, one for the top and one for the bottom. With my selected colours on the machine, I then play with the tension so that I can alter how much of the bottom thread comes through to the surface, allowing the correct tone. Whilst colours may appear solid, they never are and a much better result is achieved through this process.

Before I use the colour on the work, I test the mix of threads with altered tensions on a spare piece of dissolvable fabric stretched in a hoop.

colour threads
Test colours in little squares on dissolvable fabric

I will never get true to life colours with threads but with this technique, I can get as close as I need to to make the image work.

lady and pushchair photo
Original photo
lady pushchair thread
Free machine embroidered drawing



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