Adventures with Soutache

“Spiral Fibers” 2012 , by Joan Babcock

About two or three years ago, I saw my first example of soutache embroidered jewelry on Annika De Groot’s great blog, The necklace was by an artist named Annetta Valious, I thought it was very striking and unusual. The seed was planted. Of course, soutache isn’t macrame at all, but it is fiber, so it’s not surprising that it catches the eye of fiber artists. Another fabulous soutache artist that I admire greatly is Dori Csengeri, Soutache seems to be one of those trendy things lately – I noticed that Bead & Button will have an article about it in their next issue. I imagine we’ll be seeing an explosion of soutache jewelry very soon. Anyway… I did have to dive in and try a few pieces myself and this is what I learned…. 1. It’s not as easy as it looks, and 2. it’s very time consuming!! Also, there are two distinct types of soutache that I’ve come across, one is made of polyester and is thicker and shinier. The ends unravel like you would not believe. Then there’s some that is made of rayon (I think) and is narrower and the ends are not as unruly. I prefer that kind personally because you can dye it more easily. So of all the pieces I’ve made thus far, this is my favorite. I’ll probably do some more pieces – until I’m enticed into another creative tangent…..

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