How to Do Candlewicking

Candlewicking is a form of embroidery done with heavy thread on muslin. It is considered "traditional" because it uses an old technique called the "colonial knot".

Steps

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    Cut a piece of the muslin large enough for your selected design.
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    Lay the muslin on top of the pattern.
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    Lightly trace the pattern onto your muslin. A light box can make this faster and easier.
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    Pin the fabric to the pattern to keep it from sliding as you trace.
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    Use a washable marker to make small dots to indicate the placement of the colonial knots and any other embroidery stitches used in the design.
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    Check to be certain that you have transferred the entire Candlewicking pattern to the muslin and haven't missed anything.
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    Remove the pins and set the pattern aside.
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    Place the fabric in an embroidery hoop.
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    Thread the embroidery needle with 4 strands of Candlewicking thread or 6-12 strands of embroidery floss. The amount of floss you use will determine how large your colonial knots will be.
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    Tie a knot in the thread or floss and stitch your first colonial knot. If this is your first Candlewicking design, practice making colonial knots on a small piece of muslin before you begin.
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    Systematically work the design - left to right, top to bottom, or whatever to prevent soiling finished areas.
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    Launder when finished to remove the marker.
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    Size the finished piece by laying the piece face down on a clean, prewashed white towel and iron it from the back.
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    "Pat" the fabric with the iron when ironing to avoid damaging the colonial knots.
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    Finished.

Things You'll Need

  • Medium to heavy weight unbleached cotton muslin
  • Candlewicking thread (substitute cream colored six-strand embroidery thread if need be.)
  • A large sharp embroidery needle
  • Washable fabric marker
  • Straight pins
  • A pattern

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