|Embroidery or Bobbin Silk|
Embroidery, or Bobbin Silk, which has now almost superseded floss, is used for working on satin and silk, or for any fine work. It is made in strands, each of which has a slight twist in it to prevent its fraying as floss does. As this silk is required in all varieties of thickness, it is manufactured in what is technically called rope, that is, with about twelve strands in each thread. When not rope silk, it is in single strands, and is then called fine silk. As it is almost always necessary to use several strands, and these in varying number, according to the embroidery in hand, the rope silk has to be divided, or the fine doubled or trebled, as the case may be.
If rope silk is being used, the length required for a needleful must be cut and passed carefully between finger and thumb once or twice, that it may not be twisted. It should then be carefully separated into the number of strands most suitable for the embroidery in hand; for ordinary work three is about the best number.
These must be threaded together through the needle, care being taken not to tangle the piece of rope from which they have been detached. There need be no waste if this operation is carefully done, as good silk will always divide into strands without fraying.
In using fine silk, one length must be cut first, then other strands laid on it,—as many as are needed to form the thickness required. They should be carefully laid in the same direction as they leave the reel or card. If placed carelessly backwards and forwards, they are sure to fray, and will not work evenly together. With silk still more than with crewel, it is necessary to thread all the strands through the needle together, never to double one back, and never to make a knot.
It is intended in future to do away with this distinction between rope and fine silk, and to have it all manufactured of one uniform thickness, which will consist of eight strands of the same quality as the fine silk at present in use. As it will, however, still be necessary to divide the thread, and even perhaps occasionally to double it, the directions given above will be useful.