Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Hiding Travel Threads

Here is an example of a couched thread (blue/green metallic) with a red couching thread that holds the metallic thread in place.  Red thread is so great to highlight problems in your stitching.

Comparison of Two Couched Threads

Which sample looks better, 1 or 2?

Sample 1 is a typical sample that most stitchers create.  Let me point out a few problems and then I will show you how to change Sample 1 into Sample 2.

Sample 1 With Problems Pointed Out
The black arrows point to travel threads showing through to the front and the blue arrow shows a sag in the couched thread.  These issues are not visible in Sample 2.  

If we look at the back of Samples 1 and 2 we will see why this is the case.

Comparison of Backside of Couched Threads

The backside of Sample 1 shows a vertical stitch, then a diagonal line of thread then a vertical stitch.  This diagonal stitch is why you see the thread showing through to the front.

The backside of Sample 2 shows two vertical stitches followed by a horizontal line of thread then two vertical stitches.  I have used sewing thread in the same color as the canvas thread to tie the diagonal line of thread to the vertical stitch in order to hide it behind the couched metallic thread.

Looking at the backside of Sample 1 only,

Fixing Sample 1 With Sewing Thread
I have placed a black line where I tied the threads on the backside together with the sewing thread.  I did a simple buttonhole knot with the sewing thread.  This simple step will clean up any travel threads that show through to the front from the couching.

There is one more issue to mention, the blue arrow is pointing at the metallic thread.

Another Problem with Sample 1 - Thread Sag

Do you see how the metallic thread dips here?  That is because the couched thread is not taut.  Always pull the couched thread taut prior to placing the tie down stitches, the couched thread here should lie straight in the channel between two horizontal canvas threads.