Chinese Embroidery

For this purpose, the embroidery-frame must be placed in a perpendicular or upright position, and two persons employed together; both equally skilled in needle-work. Get a carpenter to make an upright stand, somewhat in the form of a towel-rail, and about the usual height of a work-table; having broad feet, that it may stand steadily, and a broad cross-bar just above them, and a shelf at the top, on which to lay the needle-cushions, silk balls, etc, with a raised ledge on each side of the shelf, to prevent their rolling off. At each end of this shelf there must be slits down, into which put the upright ends of the embroidery-frame, secured with wooden pegs.

We will suppose that the article to be embroidered the same on both sides, is a plain canton-crape shawl, or a square of merino intended for a shawl. Stretch the shawl tightly in the embroidery-frame, sewing it strongly to the linen; the pattern having been drawn on both sides with a camel's-hair pencil dipped in water-colour paint, of a tint a little darker than the shawl. The two ladies who are to work it, must sit one on each side; and as one sticks in the needle, the other must draw it through, and stick it in for the next stitch; to be drawn through by her companion. The fastenings on and off must be neatly concealed under the stitches. By thus working together, (each alternately sticking in and drawing out the same needle,) both sides will, of course, be embroidered exactly alike, so that not the slightest difference can be perceptible. It is in this manner that canton-crape shawls are embroidered in China. The sewing-silk must be of the best quality, not too fine or slack-twisted. Floss-silk will not do at all.

Embroidering Standards

Military standards have been successfully embroidered in the above manner. They should be made of very thick, strong India silk, satin not being the same on both sides. Instead of sewing-silk, standards had best be worked with chenille, such as comes on purpose for embroidering. Have a needle for every shade. An embroidered standard should always be copied from a painted model, executed by an artist; the model to stand in such a position that each of the two embroiderers may see it all the time. An outline of the model must be drawn on the silk. The most durable colour for a standard is deep blue. Part of the embroidery (stars, for instance) may be done in gold or silver thread.