A picture bearing the title of "A Mackerel Scarf" attracted many lovers of things beautiful at the Royal Academy one year. A tall woman stood in front of a mirror, a long, filmy black scarf fell over her shoulders, and accentuated rather than disguised her beautiful figure. Scattered all over that scarf glittered innumerable fish. The light fell on their shimmering scales; they glowed in a delightful and irresistible manner. As the scales of the fish seemed to scintillate, they threw out wonderful pale rosy lights-amber and silver, gold and faint mauve.
How delightful would be such a scarf to t h r o w over the shoulders at the theatre. The foun-d a t i on could be of black chiffon, the fish sketched out lightly in Chinese white, and when the o u tl i n e s are completed the work of embroidering might be commenced. In these days the mediums for embroidery work are so numerous that their merits are almost bewildering. There are silks, wools, marvellous silky cottons, chenille, and last, but not least, jewels, sequins, and beads. Perhaps for fish nothing would be quite so effective as sequins for the shimmering scales. Sequins can be bought in dull silver, and these, used with pale pink and mauve, would give excellent results. Small sequins should be chosen, and must be sewn on to the chiffon very carefully to form the shape of the fish. The result will be novel and attractive.
How the bead-embroidered scarf illustrated in the coloured frontispiece should be worn. The effect is graceful and out of the common
Grey satin makes a delightful background for embroidery in mallard floss, which is further embellished with beads. Such a scarf can be easily designed and embroidered by the modern needlewoman. It is interesting to aim at a Chinese or Japanese effect, going boldly to the East for their methods of embroidering the rather large conventional flowers chosen for this idea.
After the design has been stamped or sketched on to the satin,. work the flowers in blocks; this is called ' encroaching shading." It is a sort of dovetail embroidery, one row of stitches follows where the other row finishes, and gives a beautiful rich, raised effect. Or, if preferred, ordinary satin-stitch may be used with advantage. The flowers are worked in shades of pink or maize. Certain shades of blue also look quite charming on grey. The leaves are worked round their edges in satin stitch; as also the stems and trails of greenery. When the actual work of embroidery is completed, the finishing touch is added by the addition of bead embroidery, which brings the scarf up to a point of Oriental beauty which may prove a rival to the luxuriant embroideries of the East. The paler pink flowers are adorned with small pearl beads, sewn on firmly with strong cotton. The centres have touches of dull gold beads. The darker flowers are also embellished with pearl beads, and festoons of dull gold beads outline some of the petals. Spiral traceries of dull gold beads trail gracefully away from the flowers. The small buds should be thickly outlined with a border of pink beads; these are threaded four at a time on to the needle, and secured all the way round the flower in a horizontal position. A few large blue-grey porcelain beads add effective touches behind the pink flowers, and accentuate the delicacy of the pearl and silk embroidery. At the end of each trail or spray small pink stars of beads must be thickly embroidered with green beads. Sprays of green beads finish this design.
A grey satin scarf looks well lined with palest pink or apricot satin, and this should also form a border at the edge of the grey satin about two inches wide. The scarf may be completed with a tassel at each corner. When finished off in this manner it can be used for any occasion that demands the warmth of a shoulder scarf.
But there is another most novel and artistic method of finishing off this beautiful and useful wrap. Bring the scarf round the shoulders, allowing the end on the left-hand side to rest some inches above the waist. The other end on the right side hangs down and shows off the beauty of the work. A patent fastener adjusts the scarf below the neck, and forms a V in front. Thus arranged it forms a smart theatre wrap, and has almost the effect of a quaint satin fichu. The V is finished off with a cord and hanging tassel of grey silk, whilst each end of the scarf is embellished with loops of cord.
Black satin scarfs, lined with a contrasting shade, have their devotees. Embroidered in pale shades of mallard floss to match the lining, they are truly a delight to the feminine mind. About two yards of satin will be required; on to this stamp a conventional design of sweet-peas, roses„ or carnations.
Another flower which gives a regal effect when treated gracefully is the iris. This flower, if chosen, should have its top leaves worked in dull purple, using satin stitch, the remaining leaves in soft graduated mauves until they are almost white at the edges. The centres of the flowers look quite beautiful if thickly embroidered in cut gold beads. Work the foliage in very soft shades of green in satin stitch, whilst the stems must be treated boldly with stem or chain stitch. The embroidery having been completed, the scarf should be lined with pale mauve satin, and finished off at each end with long chenille tassels. The width of the scarves may be varied according to the taste of the wearer; indeed, they may be so wide that they look almost like a burnous when finished off with tassels at the back and sides.