Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Whitework Wednesday.... Pulling Thread...

        Pulling a Thread

     This is a bit out of order, but i just found the picture..............  one of the things that I found most fascinating was preparing the fabric.  I have already talked about how the designs are chosen and marked on the fabric, but even before that, the fabric has to be cut.  I know for myself, whenever I am working with the finest linen (and I use and carry Ulster linen, which is divine), I do not tear the linen!  I pull a thread and cut the linen.

     It may be a bit hard to see this, but the woman in the picture is holding a thread with her left hand and 'cutting' with scissors in her right hand.  She didn't actually use a cuttin motion - she pulled the thread and followed it with her razor sharp scissors, in one smooth motion.  I stood at the table and took pictures several times.  I pressed the button when she started and by the time the camera actually took the picture, she was 3/4s of the way across the fabric.  She was fast and she was accurate!  No rotary cutter for her.  As a matter of fact, this was on my first trip and I don't think I had even heard of rotary cutters!  You can see the pile of linen that she was cutting. Once cut, it would go on to the next step of getting marked.

     Here is a design that they were preping.  Very intricate!

     One of the workers that was marking fabric.
     Stacks on the table............ linen that has been marked, and the 'packets' are getting ready.  The linen is put with the floche and the applique' fabric and bundled, ready to go.
Stacks of marked fabric.
More fabric that is marked.
     Once the fabric is marked and bundled, an agent picks them up.  the agent is the contact between the factory and the embroideresses that do most of the work.  The embroideresses live up in the hills and do not get down to Funchal.  The agent takes the bundles and drops them off at her embroideresses and then picks up the completed work from the previous week.  She brings that back down to the factory to begin the next step in the production process.  We met a couple of the agents - they showed us what work they were bringing in.

     This is one of the goodies that I bought when I was in Madeira........... it is a blue linen pillow sham with organdy insert (the bow and flower background), shadow work (flowers, leaves), and embroidery (stems and leaves).

     This is the corner of a table scarf - the big fabric is a white voile or batiste, with a cutwork edge.  Cutwork is also used to applique' the scallopped linen to the inside of the piece.  Granitos are stitched in the border.  Beautiful!

I hope you are enjoying this as much as I am reliving the wonderful memories I have of these visits!  I will be in Atlanta at the SAGA convention when this posts - hope to see some of you there!

Happy Stitching,

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