Friday, February 25, 2011

Butterfly Pin in Irish and Bead Crochet

Techniques: Irish Crochet, Bead Crochet
Materials: cotton thread, Japanese glass beads, Swarovski crystals

Originally it was a butterfly motif in Irish Crochet. I decided to employ bead crochet as well to add more texture, dimension, and shine. I also embroidered its wings with beads and crystals and added a large crystal for the butterfly's head. A bar pin concealed inside the body turns the butterfly into a wearable brooch.
About Bead Crochet
An example of Bead Crochet
In Bead Crochet beads are strung in a particular order onto the working thread and are incorporated into crochet stitches as you work. Bead crochet has been particularly popular for making purses and bags. Earlier pieces from the nineteenth century were  worked with fine silk thread and tiny beads made of glass, gold, silver, steel, or iron. Traditionally it was done in single crochet stitch worked in rounds or rows. If it was worked in rows the thread had to be broken at the end of each row. That's because beads would show only on every other row and would not form a continuous surface, if you turn your work at the end of each row. Beads were incorporated into every stitch forming a colorful pattern. Nowadays fiber artists invent new bead crochet stitches and experiment with different kinds of threads and beads of different sizes. This opens up new possibilities for creating various designs from bags to jewelry. 
                                                                                    About Irish Crochet 
An example of Irish Crochet Lace
As its name implies, Irish crochet lace developed in Ireland. It was begun as a cottage industry to provide an additional means of livelihood for Irish people during the famine years of the 1840s. The lace consists of separate motifs and spaces between them filled in with various forms of net. Irish crochet offers a rich variety of forms. Heavy, often textural and three-dimensional, motifs sharply contrast with the spider-web-thin background. To obtain heavy effect, much of Irish crochet is done over a padding cord. Thanks to its rich and decorative appearance, the lace was so attractive that from about 1850 the lace was sought by the fashion conscious in Paris, Vienna, Brussels, London, and New York. It was also a time when machine made lace was becoming readily available, which largely contributed to decline in the development of the craft. By the late 19th century however, there was a change in fashion, the lace was again in favour, and French couture houses placed orders for Irish crochet worked in antique designs. Changing fashions in the 1920s caused a decline in interest; fashion became less feminine, and there was also stiff competition from machine made lace.

No comments:

Post a Comment