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Couching Techniques on Canvas Notebook

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Couching appears so deceptively simple. To couch is to attach a thread to the ground material with another thread, usually a finer one. Couching can smooth the naturally jagged line which results from working on the grid of the canvas, can define an area, can emphasize a section of the design. Well-done couching can improve a canvas piece. But poorly done couching can spoil a whole composition and result in wasted stitching time and money spent for threads.

Using a notebook format, this class explores both traditional and contemporary couching of metals and of threads made from other materials. Since they are historically linked to metals, silks will be used, however, the methods taught can easily be applied to other threads. Intermediate level stitchers need to learn these techniques in order to advance in expertise. Students will learn how to wind koma, how to use them for Japanese metal and for other threads, and will work notebook samples of: Japanese metal traditional and contemporary methods on straight lines, a corner, in a circle, over an irregular shaped area; traditional or nué and as a variation, couche rentré, trellis work, bokhara, Roumanian and burden couching, pattern and Italian couching, couching of stiff and soft bullions in a straight line, in a circle, and raised from the surface; couching ribbon, methods for flat and tubular braids, both heavy and fine, including a new approach for a invisible joining of a continuous line; and how to use bullions and beads for couching stitches. Students will receive extensive written information on couching and how to do the various types, along with a three ring notebook, plastic page protectors, heavy mounting pages with preprinted notes, canvas, and all threads and materials necessary to stitch the samples.

Couching Notebook


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