Friday, April 23, 2010

Feature Friday: Shisha embroidery

Today I decided to feature a craft I haven't done in quite a long time, and am really trying to figure out a project to do to get back into it.

Shisha embroidery is an Indian style of embroidery that incorporates mirrors.  You can see some impressive examples of it here.

I first experimented with shisha embroidery a few years back for my yearly Christmas decorations. 

Here are the two sets of decorations I made using a variety of materials.  The mirrors are stitched in place using rayon embroider thread.  It's incredibly slippery, and I really wouldn't recommend it if you're not used to embroidery! *L*  The effect was lovely, though, with the sheen in the thread complimenting the reflective mirrors quite nicely.

For these I used glass mirrors that can be found at pretty much any craft store.  They're quite different from the mirrors typically used, which are available for purchase online.  They're thicker, for starters, and quite a bit heavier, but they also have smooth edges and are uniform in size.

There is an excellent online tutorial for the basic shisha embroidery stitch available. 

I learned how to do shisha embroidery from a book I found at the library a few years back, but which I can't seem to find online anywhere.  It was published some time in the 70's, and the projects and colour combinations certainly reflect the era!  Thankfully, this is an style of embroidery that transcends fads and fashion whims, and can be easily translated to suit one's personal tastes, with beautiful results.

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