Friday, February 12, 2021

Teneriffe experiments


I'm often asked if a particular thread can be used for a particular technique - but I haven't always tried them. I am a great believer in experimenting though, as what may not work for one application may be wonderful for another.

Take Teneriffe lace for instance. Like all lace, the thread used should be strong, usually fine, and with a bit of body. It needs to be able to hold a knot - so slippery threads will often give poor results. If your intention is to make a lace tablecloth, then you really do need something designed for lace making - a lace thread or a fine crochet thread.

However, using wool to make flowers on a Teneriffe loom works a treat! And perle cotton (not as smooth as traditional lace threads) gives more option for colour and has the advantage of washing well. 

But stranded embroidery cotton?

Normally, I would not recommend it, as it isn't actually that strong. But, I thought I'd have a play.

Using one strand

I'll be honest, this wasn't easy. I was worried I would break the thread, so took my time tying the knots. I think that this would be ok for the smallest motifs that are going to be appliqued onto something else, but you do need to be aware of how hard you pull the knots.

Using three strands

Better. I wasn't worried that I was going to break the thread. However, because the strands are not twisted tightly it is a little difficult picking up the correct threads to knot! You have to take care to get all of the threads.

Again, great for an applique motif, but not enough strength for a stand alone piece.

Using six strands

As you can see, quite nice chunky motif with the thread as it comes from the pull skein. I certainly didn't feel that I would break the thread at every knot. The fact that the thread had not been split into individual threads did mean it was a little easier to catch every thread when knotting. 

I do still feel though that it would be best used an an applique motif.

I think that using stranded embroidery cotton does open up a lot of possibilities for colour - but I would only use it for pieces where I am securing the motif onto the fabric. And not as an insert. I don't think the embroidery threads on their own would be strong enough to withstand being used as "lace proper".

I reckon that if you were using it to make micro lace motifs for buttons say, then it would be great - just take care on those knots if you are using a single thread. 

Stay safe everyone!


  1. You do go led down some interesting rabbit holes! But thank you for taking the time and energy to work up the examples, write out the result, take photos and post it all -super job!!! Teneriffe isn't a favorite - haven't analysed it, but just not terribly appealing.
    You are so right about those nasty city types whingeing about things - like farmers and ranchers in (formerly all) farm and ranch country with gun racks in the back window of the truck. City folk show up and get hysterical so the coyotes carry off calves and the poor rancher/farmer is out a little more income. And we know of a small business on a semirural road that almost went under because a lawyer from Los Angeles :( moved in and decided that the business customers were messing up the area. The couple did survive and are thriving but we can't go buy coffee and pie and sit under the sycamore trees by the creek because that lawyer shut down the original farm site - nasty man! Hmm - better stop now before I really get going!
    Sorry you are still limping along without bandwidth, etc. I've been sending mental nudges to BT for days! Tomorrow? Yes!
    Do stay warm and well and dry. C in C xxx

    1. Sadly, I spent ages on the phone to BT again yesterday, not looking like anything will be even remotely sorted until the 19th. I suspect once the snow melts we won't have any access at all as the underground junction will be completely flooded again. ho hum. And my heating oil hasn't arrived, so tomorrow will be spent on the phone elsewhere finding out what happened there.
      Stay well and warm both of you xxxx

    2. Oh misery! Misery! Misery! And no one is the least bit apologetic! Or has BT outsourced all their customer service to the Philipines? Then you get "Skippy", who can only follow his script! Holding good thoughts on all fronts.
      I think I'll just give up and sleep on the floor so that the blankets don't have to fall so far - they can just creep away. The increasing draft wakes me up in time to stop everything from going over the edge of the bed, but it is annoying as heck.
      Do stay warm and well, all three. xxx

    3. Haha, you have obviously dealt with BT before!
      Oh keep warm! Our ancestors were so right having curtained beds. I really think that's the way forward. It would save on heating bills too!
      Keep warm and well both of you xx

    4. Nice cozy Swedish cupboard beds or the cows on the ground floor and you in the room above - or the Great Bed of Ware? That is big enough to live in_ oh, wait, I sleep on a King sized bed and I do pretty much live on it, but no curtains -must get curtains!
      Continued good thoughts ;) xxx

    5. Curtains for the win! xxx