I have been in awe of Jane's work for quite a time, her incredible design and meticulous attention to detail. I had read her books in detail and finally the earth, sun and the moon lined up and I enrolled in her class "Persian Tile".
I have almost finished the piece and hope to have it completed over the Christmas break.
The thing I like about participating in classes is that you always learn something new.
When couching the majority of metal threads in this project, Jane used a clear nylon mono-filament, like a fine fishing line. In this case we used Madeira Monofil No 60.
Check out the results:
The Jap thread wrapped around the gold beads on the outer border was couched using the monofil. Can you see the couching stitches? It was also used to couch the gilt passing thread around the petals of the pink peony bud.
The Jap on the inner border was couched with a fine metallic thread. Much more noticeable isn't it.
The monofil proved to be a strong, fine thread that was very forgiving if the couching stitches were a little uneven in size or distance apart.
HOWEVER, and there is usually a 'however', a size 12 crewel needle was used with the monofil. To say threading a very fine invisible thread though the eye of a number 12 needle is character building is an understatement. To challenge you even further this thread is very slippery and slides out of the needle easily. So the only solution is to secure the thread in the eye of the needle. Kreinik have made a short video showing how this is done - it is the second tip on the video.
Ah, you thought this would make it easier didn't you. Well it does when it comes to keeping the needle threaded but of course you have to get the two strands of folded thread through that tiny hole.
Tip for the Day - if you intend using this thread, here is my suggestion. Before you start your stitching session, thread up 4 or 5 needles with the monofil while your eyes are still fresh and your frustration levels low. You will maintain your sanity and progress with your project.