Bead Embroidery and Shibori Silk
When I took the Shibori Bracelet class from Sherry Serafini in Feb 2013, it opened up a new world for me, bead-embroidery-wise. I never really thought about using fabric as part of the design before, at least not this way. So Sherry, thanks again for inspiration!
The bracelet I made during the class I ultimately christened “Gypsy’s Silk” — it’s the purple bracelet on the right. It’s a wide cuff, to make full use of the silk, which was dyed in purples and greens.
I used some of the polymer clay cabs I made as part of the design, plus lots of bling-y beads like sew-on flatback Swarovski crystals, and some dichroic cabs that Sherry had for sale.
Of course, these bracelets are like potato chips — I couldn’t make just one!
The next bracelet I made had a more monochromatic look, as the Shibori was in medium shades of blue. There wasn’t enough of a contrast color-wise in the silk, so I made do with pleating and crystals.
This one is much narrower than the one I made in class, but it’s still an imposing bracelet. Especially since I added a small fringe as the edging.
So what to do next? I got some silk in shades of copper and pink, and it was a beautiful color shading. I liked the silk so much that I did more pleating. But anchoring those pleats? That took a little more trial and error.
I used some rivolis this time, so instead of using a lot of crystals this time, I used more glass pearls. One of my new favorites is the new 2mm glass pearls from the Czech Republic, which come in a wide variety of colors.
And yes, I’ve made even more, which I will show in other posts. 😀 I’ve used more of the Swarovski rivolis in the other bead embroidery bracelets with the silk.
You can find the Shobori silk on Etsy, which is where I got most of mine. There are lots of different color combos.
The thing to keep in mind about the silk — if you have rough hands or fingernails, they will snag the silk. For the most part you can cover snags with beading, but it’s sad when you snag it when you are pretty much done. So be careful, and make sure your hands and nails are smooth.