Following on from last week's post, two further Italian cutwork techniques...
First up this week is a technique called Deruta Sfilato originating in Tuscany. The design area outline is secured and then alternating groups of fabric threads are cut and withdrawn to make a frame of loose mesh. The design is then woven back onto this frame using Pearl threads. The lustre of the Pearl threads is a beautiful contrast to the matt linen texture.
As it is very hard (read - next to impossible) to get the appropriate Deruta linen (a fine, low-count fabric - 8/cm, 20/inch) in New Zealand, I elected to work this project on the much finer 40ct linen that I had to hand. The effect of this change is that the lace is a little more dense, not quite as airy as the original, and is a little more sturdy.
My latest release: the Deruta Sfilato Perfume Sachet instructional booklet includes two designs: the Daisy, and the Tulip, covering each of the basic stitches of this technique: preparation/border, linen stitch, outlining, bows, and ground fillings. Also included: full construction details including the traditional folded hem.
Fill the sachet with your favourite perfume or use as a ring cushion for a couple's special day. Alternatively it is equally effective as a tablemat or runner.
Visit the Deruta Sfilato Perfume Sachet page for more information about this project.
A third Italian cutwork technique that I have been working on is Buratto. Each cutwork style has similarities to another, but each is distinctive. Buratto whilst traditionally stitched on low count fabric (like Deruta) is less textural, relying on the contrast of the linen stitch against the empty cells of the background grid.
Again with difficulties in obtaining the traditional Buratto fabric here in NZ, the fabric has a fine thread but low count - 18/inch, I have resorted to using what is available here which is a heavier linen, still 18ct, but the result is not as fine the original. Having worked on both, I enjoy the heavier linen as it is structurally much easier to work on, gives are really crisp finish and a sturdy hard-wearing article.
This technique is great for those whose eyesight may not let them work counted embroidery on finer fabrics, you can still produce a lovely lace look and feel, without the eyestrain.
The Buratto Filet Tablemat comes with three pattern choices, and full instructions for the construction including the traditional folded hem and an attractive Bullion stitch border.
The Buratto Filet Cushion also has three pattern options included along with full construction instructions.
Visit the Italian Embroidery page for more projects with the traditional Italian flavour, and keep an eye out as there are more projects on the way exploring further Italian embroidery techniques.