22 March 2009

Woven brooch tutorial

Last year, I posted about some woven brooches I had made. Pamela read these posts recently and asked for a tutorial on how I made them. I don't have step-by-step photos to illustrate the process, but I do have some instructions I wrote for a workshop in this technique in 2005.
It's a pretty simple process and could be applied to add texture to textile art and ATCs. Hope you enjoy trying it!

Finished brooches

This small brooch is made by weaving threads with interesting textures through warp threads stitched on fabric. It is a simple technique, but can be used to make stunning brooches, which are truly unique.

These notes are for a brooch that will be approximately 5cm square.

1. You will need a template – rigid cardboard is good. Draw a 5cm square on the cardboard and cut it out.

2. Cut a square of fabric approximately 16cm. The fabric will be trimmed back after the stitching and weaving is completed. I used dark blue taffeta for all my brooches. You need to be aware that the sides of the fabric will be seen, so choose a colour that works with your threads.

3. In the centre of the fabric, trace around the template with a pencil.

4. Draw lines to divide the square into three sections.

5. Put the fabric into a 10cm embroidery hoop.

6. Use Perle thread (about 180cm long) to stitch warp threads in each section. Try to make the direction different in each section.

7. Choose three different decorative threads, each about 75cm long. You can use any decorative yarns as well. Variegated and fuzzy yarns work well; lumpy ones do not.

8. Weave one section at a time. Use a tapestry needle to weave the threads through the warp threads. Once you reach the end of a row, weave the thread around the end warp thread to start a new row.

9. While still in the hoop, stitch beads on the brooch, if desired.

10. Remove the fabric from the hoop and place it over the cardboard template. You will be folding the fabric to the back and stitching it, so trim the fabric neatly to fit.

11. Stitch the fabric over the template. You can glue a small piece of leather to the back of the brooch if you want to cover the seams.

12. Stitch or glue the brooch pin to the back of the brooch.

13. Wear your brooch with pleasure!


  1. Wow! What a surprize to see your instructions! So clearly written too - so I feel confident now to try some creative dabbling, as you would say. Thank you! - I appreciate your generosity Erica. Watch my blog!

  2. Wonderful tute! I just put a link to your post on my blog. I hope it brings you a few extra clicks.



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