Fashion embroidery - embroidery techniques and inspiration for Haute-Couture clothing by Jessica jane pile
Embroidery Techniques and Inspiration for Haute-Couture Clothing
Jessica Jan Pile
Price £25/ US $
Jessica Jane Pile is the Production Director of Hand & Lock, an embroidery atelier based in London which specialises in work for The Military, The Royal Family, Ecclesiastical and European fashion houses. She is in a perfect position to tutor the reader on fine detail embroidery and for those who wait eagerly for the new embroidered garments that Fashion Week unveils, then this book is for you. It’s what everyone who wants to push their embroidery skills and aim for the heights of Haute Couture should be reading.
The book would be most useful for aspiring fashion embroiderers. It provides the tools to get you started and provides examples of work by Hand & Lock and couture designers (such as Alexander McQueen, Oscar de le Renta and Elie Saab) to demonstrate how embroidery in couture pieces have been constructed. The book explores the difference between hand and machine embroidery, how these are achieved in fashion embroidery and how knowing this will enable you decide what embroidery is best for you. There are instructions on what materials you need to get started and how to set up a frame properly with the correct tension, how to develop and transfer a pattern and the basic hand embroidery stitches which form the basis of couture embroidery. There are not a huge number of stitches and the emphasis here is on getting the practice and using skill and imagination to produce innovative and eye-catching work. Once the basics are covered, more options are explored with silk shading, tambour beading and goldwork (for which Hand & Lock are most famous for).
This is a wonderful book, beautifully illustrated with close-up photographs of couture embroidery. The author shares her expertise to explain how the featured work is constructed and gives the reader the sense that given some imagination and a working knowledge of the best techniques you can achieve anything. The Haute Couture embroidery included in the book shows you what you can aspire to. The instructions given are clear and practical and it is good to see a book that doesn’t treat fashion embroidery as a secret club that the select few are invited to join. If you are working on foundations of good technique and preparation, which are described in the book, then you are in the best position to start creating something fit for the catwalk.
If you are interested in Hand & Lock, please see the following features that I have written about them:
Hand & Lock feature for Workshop on the Web magazine here
The Embellished Handbag event blog post here
Book Reviews on a variety of arts-related subjects. Please see Book Review page for an index of subject matter.