Embroidering Tulle: What you need to know
For any crochet de Luneville embroidery artist, tulle would have to be one of the most beautiful yet challenging fabrics to work with.
The most expensive couture tulles worthy of the finest embellishments and haute couture craftsmanship are made of the highest quality materials such as polyester, cotton, silk and other advanced new man-made blends. The fine lightweight net fabric characterised by a fine hexagonal mesh structure can be woven to create a variety of effects, sheerness and drape. It can have a soft fluid drape or a stiff drape perfect for use in millinery, ballet costumes and petticoats.
Since taking on the challenge of working with tulle to make an embroidered halter neck top, I’ve learned some valuable lessons on how best to prepare it for embroidery.
In this post I’ll touch on a few things to be mindful of. First of all, deciding which type of tulle to use. Depending on your project, it’s important to consider the end use and whether it is to be a wearable item. Or is the tulle to perform as a foundation for an applique on an accessory or outer wear clothing? In the later, the stiffness may be more important and in the former, softness and sheerness will reign supreme, making your embroidery task all the more difficult and delicate.
You may also be surprised to know that some tulle is elastic in nature due to its open weave, nylon and stiff tulles will be less so, but in couture these are not typically sought after for embroidery. When planning your embroidery on tulle, its important to consider its elasticity as this may affect the lay of your pattern and the direction of your embroidery design, particularly if the work is to made into a wearable piece. For a tulle applique, these factors may not be as important.
Another factor to consider is the density of the mesh structure as this will impact upon the weight of the embroidery threads and the size of the crochet de Luneville hook you use.
Will they all complement each other to create a beautiful finish? Is it a sheer result you are looking for or are you planning a more dense embroidery with heavier threads or yarns? Always test a few options and work up a few samples using a variety of combinations.