Neat stitches and lyrical wax

3rd June 2005 at 01:00
Double Trouble 14 craft textiles booklets By Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn Double Trouble Enterprises (WOW), PO Box 348, Maidenhead, SL6 6XB.

pound;5.60 each plus pp

Resources exploring the origins and traditions of different textiles techniques

These exciting booklets with their bright colour and rich surfaces will intrigue adult education and secondary school teachers and students, familiar or unfamiliar with craft textiles. Each explores aspects of machine and hand embroidery, from how to gather research material, using sketchbooks, drawings, photographs and diaries, to specific embroidery techniques and their application.

The first, Vanishing Act, explores machine embroidery on soluble fabrics.

Instructions are clear, research into available soluble fabrics and threads is thorough and advice sound: "If you are new to machine embroidery, choose an easy working cotton thread (30). Make sure you feel comfortable with your machine before trying the more seductive textured threads."

A later booklet, Trees as a Theme, contains instructions on researching trees, inspiring some of the most richly textured fabrics in the series under the heading "Velvet trees - distorting surface". Several such sumptuous fabrics appear on pages 14 and 15.

The most recent booklet, Connections, suggests projects which explore methods of joining: eg lacing, knotting, buttoning, tying. It also introduces unusual combinations: cut plastic straws and copper wire, knitted wire and paper pulp. The final page shows the textile "Harbour Lights", which combines knitted and knotted fishing line with shards of coloured plastic.

Jo Trench is a freelance art educator and textile artist

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