Once upon a time, a young girl stitched a sampler on gauze. It must have been meaningful gauze — the placard on the museum wall next to this framed needlework said it was gauze leftover from her family's care of a wounded Civil War solder. Romance makes me wonder if she was in love with this boy, and stitched her sampler on something that would remind her of him. Or maybe, she just wanted the medium, the finely woven canvas mesh on which she could achieve amazing detail for her palette of stitches.
If so, she wouldn't be the first or the last to stitch on gauze. Silk gauze — canvas mesh made of 100% pure silk thread — has been used in clothing, jewelry, embroideries and other textile work for centuries. Today it is common for miniaturists to use silk gauze for to-scale reproductions like rugs, miniature pillows and samplers. Silk gauze comes in different holes-per-inch sizes, so with 40-count silk gauze, for instance, you get 40 holes per inch, and a perfect 1-foot to 1-inch scale.
Other needle artists use silk gauze as an alternative medium and for creating intricate needlework. One silk gauze embroidery designer we are excited about is Patricia Parra. She has taken Kreinik silk gauze kits and added stunning specialty-stitch borders. Her particular use of decorative stitches creates more three-dimensional looks on silk gauze. When she uses Kreinik's holographic threads on silk gauze, her designs look simply magical.
A native of South America, she has had an interest in needlework since she was a child. Her mother was a clothing designer so she has always been exposed to color and design. Patricia opened a San Francisco needlepoint store in 2005 and started teaching and creating stitch guides. In 2007 she discovered silk gauze and fell in love with the delicate work. Her silk gauze patterns include traditional themes as well as contemporary geometrics using specialty stitches and lots of color. Patricia often loans us her silk gauze models to take to shows, and we are excited to share photos here.
Where to get more information on silk gauze:
• For more photos of the designs shown here, visit http://flickr.com/photos/kreinikgirl
• For Kreinik silk gauze, available in framed ready-to-stitch pieces or yard increments, visit http://www.kreinik.com/kshop/home.php?cat=44
• Kreinik silk gauze is available in needlework stores (visit http://www.kreinik.com/locator) or through stores in http://www.kreinikmall.com
• Check with your needlework store for other artists creating silk gauze designs. Erica Michaels Designs, for instance, has a new line of "Petites" silk gauze kits, http://www.ericamichaels.com.