This section is from the book "Arts & Crafts Magazine Vol1-2", by Hutchinson & Company.
The veil is to be worked on a plain ribbed silk or gros-grain of a creamy tone. The design is a somewhat conventionalised treatment of the Rose of Sharon, and care should be taken in the choice of colour and of the methods of working, to keep up this treatment and to avoid any naturalistic shading or imitation of nature. The detail of the rose-leaf will show that the stitches are intended to be taken as in ordinary stem or filling-stitch, from the rose to the tip of the leaf, only working a serrated edge by reversing the stitch after reaching the point, in working down the second or left side of the leaf. Only one tone of colour should be used in each leaf, so as to keep it flat, and it might be veined afterwards with a fine Japanese gold thread or with a thick stem-stitch of darker silk worked over the finished leaf. Variety may be made in working the different leaves, and the stem running through the design might be worked either wholly in gold thread or in the darkest shade of silk used. The green selected should be sober in tone, inclining to grey, but by no means monotonous. It will be best to select all the colouring to be used before a stitch is put in, laying the silks and the gold upon the work, and deciding at once upon the relative quantities of each to be used. A little bright green may be introduced to lighten the general effect, and a good plan is to work in the brighter leaves first all over the design, and then tone them down with the more neutral leaves. It will be noticed that one detached rose occurs on each of the four sides and the centre. This should be worked first, or at least the tint to be used decided on, and the full-blown flower in each corner arranged so as to relieve it by some kind of contrast. The half flowers and buds may then be worked in with intermediate tones. Considerable varieties of pink tints may be used in these roses, ranging from a tolerably bright rose to an apricot, but they must be selected first and not left to chance after the work has been begun.
The outside edge of the rose is to be worked either actually in satin-stitch or in the finest kind of laid work, the threads lying together with the greatest evenness and satiny effect; the petals themselves should be worked in Japanese satin-stitch and shaded. Thus, the corner flowers might shade from dark to light, and those in the centre of each side from light to dark, the satin edge being in each case, of course, the extreme tint. Radiating veins should now be put in of gold thread, not too thin. Real gold passing ought to be used, as it can be threaded- through the needle and carried through to the back. It should be unnecessary to say that the thread is not taken back each time to the centre of the petal, but the needle is brought out a little higher or lower than the preceding stitch, so as not to involve the waste of more material on the back of the embroidery than is absolutely necessary.
Finally, the centres of the roses should be worked with French-knots of gold passing, if it can be afforded, or of thick gold-coloured silk, if the worker is limited in cost. The spent rose calyxes should be worked with a grey-green silk, and the seeds put in with French-knots and single stitches of gold or silk. The cross in the centre is intended to be worked in some diaper-stitch. Gold thread is to be laid down from end to end of the cross, and stitched down either in straight lines, as shown in the detail in the Supplement, or in waved or zigzagged lines, which must be previously marked out on the silk ground with red silk. It will add very much to the richness of the cross, though somewhat also to the difficulty of working it well, if the lines of gold thread are interlaced or woven in the centre where they cross each other. To do this it would be necessary to work the cross with passing, taking the needle through the ground at each end of the cross and leaving it over and under the threads already laid down when the worker comes to the two last branches. This will form a square of a kind of basket-stitch in the centre, and will look very rich. After the gold thread has been stitched down in a diaper pattern with silk, it must be finished off either by working a thick line of stem-stitch all round it, as shown in the detail, or by putting a couched line of narrow red silk chenille.
The embroidery, if pasted at all, should have as little paste as possible applied, and that only to the back of the work - not smeared over the silk. After it is taken out of the frame, a thin interlining should be very carefully tacked in, and a substantial silk lining tacked over that. The latter must be neatly turned in over the interlining and sewn to the edge of the embroidered veil. It may afterwards be edged with a very fine cord either of red or of cream white, or even of gold. L. H.