Monday, March 11, 2019

The Blocking Process

   Over the past couple of months, I have been taking an online embroidery class. Although I have gotten really comfortable and confident in doing hand stitching without an embroidery hoop, I found that the hoop was an absolute necessity in experimenting with different needle weaving techniques.
  These types of stitches are done by running the thread vertically the length of the shape to form a weft. Then your stitches are formed over this structure while only attaching to the fabric at the edges of your shape. This can cause major distortion if you aren't using a hoop.

  Even when I finally resorted to using a hoop, I still had a lot of puckers in my fabric. I decided I really had to block my fabric to try and flatten things out a bit and eliminate the distortion.

   What you will need to do the blocking: a piece of foam core, sheet of plastic, spray bottle, and some straight pins.

  Begin by spraying your embroidered piece on the front until it is evenly moist, then flip it over to the back side and repeat the process. Let your piece rest for a couple of minutes so the water saturates and relaxes the fibers.

   Now, starting by pinning a corner of your fabric close to the corner of the foam core so you can use the board for reference to keep your piece straight.

   I know my square of fabric started out at 8" square. in some places it was 3/4" smaller, so I gently started stretching the fabric until I got a perfect 8" again. The moisture really relaxes the linen fibers, and as they dry the fiber tightens up again.
   Usually the fabric dries in a couple of hours when doing the blocking. But, because of the density of my hand stitching  I let it dry overnight.

You can see what a remarkable difference this process made. For me, the blocking is well worth the effort, and it only takes me a few minutes to do. Now my fabric lies nice and flat, and the dimension of my stitching shows up even more.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Beautiful, April!