The longing for something new is in the heart of every woman. While the ability to invent is not given to all, there are many who are quick to adapt the novel ideas of others to their own immediate needs. A long-recognized authority on all kinds of bead and basket work is the clever craft-worker, Miss Mary White, and it is to her we must give credit for this new idea of working bands into drawn threads for the ornamentation of fabrics. The work is so easy that any novice can do it, and yet the results are far beyond the most sanguine expectations.
On glancing at the illustrations, the effect can be readily seen. The curtain is made of tan crash of coarse mesh. The tablecloth is made of coarser linen almost brown in colour, very open in texture.
Linen canvas, or, in fact, any material with an open weave and one in which the threads can be easily drawn, can be used for this work. Burlap is also a good material, but as the coloured burlaps fade it is wiser to put such beautiful ornamentation on the undyed burlap. A good quality must be chosen, and one without dressing. Another excellent material to use is monk's cloth, which is now made in America, and retails at thirty-five cents. Until lately this decorative material could only be bought among the imported materials, and cost $1.25 a yard, but it was 50 inches wide, while the domestic monk's cloth is only 36 inches. The material can be obtained in a good range of colours.
At first it is a little difficult to see how the beads are threaded, but when the idea is once grasped it is the easiest and pleasantest kind of work to do. The cost is very slight, as the cheap glass beads sold for kindergarten work can be used, unless real Venetian beads in beautiful soft colours can beobtained. Theonly tool required is a long thin darning-needle.
The process is extremely simple. The curtain is made in this manner. Begin at the top, below the 3 - inch hem. Draw the threads for an inch, after first outlining them at the selvage. The ravelled strands of linen can be used for sewing on the beads. Thread a darning-needle with one of the strands, and fasten it with one or two stitches to the lower edge of the drawn portiere close to the selvage on the left side of the curtain. Bring it under the horizontal threads, and cut a little to the right of the twenty-seventh thread. Then string nine opaque beads. Draw the thread tight and press the beads up between the vertical strands, drawing three of these threads between every two beads. Then run the needle from right to left through the nine beads, holding the beads up with the left hand so that the vertical threads are below the beads. Then proceed from left to right, threading eight beads. Continue this, lessening the number of beads each time until one bead is left for the point. This is strung and pressed up between the fourth and fifth groups of threads, and the needle is run through it from right to left. The thread is then fastened off.
Curtain Of Beaded Drawn Work.
The curtain illustrated shows the ornament worked in green and white beads. The lower borders consist of a double row facing each other, beginning with seven beads. This is drawn about 2 inches in width, while the bottom is drawn nearly 2 1/2 inches. The difference in the width gives a charming variety to the striping of the curtain. It will be found that the simpler the designs the more decorative the effect.
White and one contrasting colour seem to be the best suited to material with bead decoration. In a red room, red and white would be beautiful, while in a brown room a rich orange would make a rich note of colour. Another method of varying the colour scheme is to have the alternate points in contrasting colours, one in white and another in green, while another may be in blue, and are also very pretty in green. In fact, any colour that suggests itself to the worker may be used. Another variety of colouring is given by having the centre beads of contrasting colour, but this does not appeal to me as much as the more blocky way of planning the colouring.
On looking at the illustration, notice the very deep hem at the bottom of the curtain; it is about 9 inches wide, and extends to the ornament. Such a curtain would be extremely beautiful as a long curtain in a winter home, or would be a charming decoration for a portiere in a seaside or mountain cottage.
The tablecloth has the threads drawn at right angles. This is made of brown open linen resembling domestic monk's cloth, but is much softer in texture. It is sold in New York at 75 cents a yard, 50 inches wide. The design on this is almost the same as that on the curtain, but each point is started with two beads instead of one. Green is the only colour used for the beads. This decorative treatment of a table - cover is singularly appropriate, as the beads make it heavy enough to keep well in place. The same idea can be carried out in many of the coloured open-meshed linens. Cairo lattice-cloth can also be made use of; it comes in a large range of colours. This requires a much larger bead than the linen, but is very beautiful and unusual.
The beads can be obtained from educational booksellers, who frequently have kindergarten supplies, or from shops where Indian goods are sold. At the latter a larger variety can, of course, be had, varying considerably in price, according to the quality. In this work, however, it is not the quality of the bead that counts, for they must be chosen for the bold decorative effect they will give, and very fine well-cut beads might look quite poor when worked.
The rapidity with which this work can be done is one of its chief charms, and the effect when finished is a great encouragement to the artistic craft-worker, who soon finds that she can evolve ideas for herself when the rudiments are once mastered.