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WOOCS 1.2.3

Shadow Work Iris

Shadow Work Iris

$11.62 USD

The Shadow Work Iris is a beginners surface embroidery technique.

The shadow work embroidery is made up of bands of herringbone stitch at the back of the fabric that show through at the front as a shadow of colour. The technique was traditionally used for table coverings as the stitching was on the back of the work so that it was protected from being snagged/damaged.

I have designed my shadow work embroideries as pieces of art. The butterfly is an ideal size for a greeting card or displayed in a free standing perspex frame or displayed – hung in a needlework hoop.

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The Shadow Work Iris is a beginners surface embroidery technique.

The shadow work embroidery is made up of bands of herringbone stitch at the back of the fabric that show through at the front as a shadow of colour. The technique was traditionally used for table coverings as the stitching was on the back of the work so that it was protected from being snagged/damaged.

I have designed my shadow work embroideries as pieces of art. The iris is an ideal size for a greeting card or displayed in a free standing perspex frame or displayed – hung in a needlework hoop.

I have discovered that the easiest method to stitch the herringbone stitch bands is from the front of the work by working back-stitch alternating back and fourth along two lines that are parallel to each other. The herringbone stitch is created on the back of the fabric when you switch back and fourth across the band and creates a shadow of colour through the organza fabric making this a double sided embroidery.

Once you receive the kit you will trace the outline of the iris onto the silk organza fabric with a sharp pencil, this is easy to do as the organza fabric is very easy to see through as it is almost transparent. Then the bands of back-stitch/herringbone stitch are worked on the iris design in different colours.

Each band is worked in a single strand of DMC embroidery giving the embroidery a lovely fine quality.

In the kit I provide a detailed instruction booklet with step-by-step diagrams and instructions on how to work the stitch and how to start and end a thread so that it is not visible.

It is important that the fabric is tight when you work the shadow work embroidery so that the bands of herringbone stitch do not pucker and distort the fabric so I recommend working the embroidery in a stretcher bar frame.

I am offering free on-going critique with this kit…..you can email me at any time if you have questions or would like me to critique your embroidery.


Embroidery Size:

  • 2 1/2 inches (5 cm) high by 1 3/4 inches (4 1/4 cm) wide

Kit Contents:

  • Instruction Booklet
  • Piece of Silk Organza Fabric 9 inches by 9 inches (22 1/2 cm by 22 1/2 cm)
  • Six Shades of DMC Embroidery Cotton Thread on a Numbered Thread Template
  • One Size 10 Crewel Embroidery Needles

Recommended Supplies:

  • 8 inch Stretcher Bar Frame and Thumb Tacks
  • Packet of Size 10 Embroidery/Crewel Needles
  • Embroidery Scissors
Weight0.09 kg
Dimensions37 x 27 x 0.6 cm
Shadow Work Iris

Kit ($15.00)

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