A Very Open Weave

Scarf End

Scarf End

This is a long rectangular scarf  in a very open weave, woven using a textured yarn. I bought it on the high street, but decided to embellish it somewhat. At the time I was fed up with embroidered pictures and wanted to embroider something useful. Life no longer being leisurely enough to require a huge stack of teacloths or placemats, clothes seemed an obvious choice.

I also wanted to play with a soluble fabric. Soluble fabrics are usually used for machine embroidery, but naturally I had other plans!

The embroidery thread was one of the Caron Collection three-stranded cottons – from the Watercolours range, I think, and the design is based upon a Chinese heraldic badge depicted on one of the designs in “Traditional Chinese Designs: Iron-on Transfer Patterns”, produced by Dover books. Of course I didn’t iron it on…!

Scarf Motif - CloseUp

Scarf Motif - CloseUp

As you can see, most of the design is worked using closely packed long and short stitch, with the thin lines worked in double running stitch. This makes the design close enough to reversible to cope with the odd gust of wind when I’m wearing it!

You might be wondering what use the soluble fabric was. It was very useful in fact, because it allowed me to put stitches in the middle of holes in the weave of the scarf without them pulling to the edge of the hole before I’d locked them in place with the next row of stitching. The stitch length is pretty constant throughout the piece, and that’s because my stitch placement wasn’t undermined by the base material.

You could argue that a backing fabric would have done that job without messing around with soluble fabric, and you would be right. But such a backing fabric would have permanently altered the appearance and drape of the scarf, and I liked it the way it was.

I still do!


  1. karen says:

    it was a really good idea using the soluble fabric on this and the end result is great. I agree that a backing piece would have spoilt the scarf.

  2. I agree too: a really good idea. And it turned out beautifully. Using soluble fabric in hand work is something I haven’t really investigated yet, but it’s in the cupboard waiting for me. It could be a while!

  3. Elmsley Rose says:

    Do you think soluble fabric would help when embroidering on organza to avoid the ‘runs’ caused by needle holes?

    This is a beautiful scarf, you textiles lady, you. 🙂

  4. Lady Fi says:

    What a great way to liven up a scarf!

  5. I’m going to borrow that idea. Love the finished result.

  6. Alex says:

    Ah, that’s a genius idea for working on open weave fabric! I love the design and your colour choices too. :o)

  7. Action Ma'am says:

    Clever construction, gorgeous result, pretty useful all round!

  8. Janice says:

    Yes, I agree – the backing fabric would have been much stiffer. I would never have thought of using soluble fabric.