Friday, October 30, 2015

Textile Books

A while ago I made a textile book out of habotai silk, but was unable to complete it, because I could not get the binding right.  I tried several methods of making these four double-sided pages stand up on a structure, so that I could exhibit it open.  None worked, the 12" pages were simply too big and floppy.  Lesson learned, don't make floppy pages if you want it to stand, use something solid inside the pages like heavy cardboard or buckram.

Anyway, I realised that if I was going to complete this project and relieve it of a life at the top of the cupboard, I would have to find another way.  I decided to do the obvious and put hinges on the pages in such a way that it would lie flat and the pages could be turned normally.  Being two silk pages with cotton batting in between and being hand-quilted (back when I could still hand-quilt) it needed something fairly delicate.  A rivet hole was going to be too harsh and heavy, dragging on the fabric and out of keeping.

I can't hand stitch holes any more so I tried a sample piece of machine stitching a circle, free motion stitching (feed dogs down, darning foot on, straight stitch).  Using plain white thread, this worked well.
The circular hole machine stitched around 3 or 4 times

Next step - cords to tie through the holes, which had been cut open with a seam ripper and applique scissors (carefully!). Here's how I used some strips of silk scraps to make machine cords (switch to zig zag, size 4 worked well) - the rest of the above machine settings remain the same.  Twist the strip round and round while anchored by the needle through the strip - have about an inch (a few centimetres) sticking out at the top to grab hold of - then feed the strip through.  The zig zag will keep the twist in and make a cord.  I made one for each hole (five) and fed them through, cut the ends off and tied each in a reef knot.  I did pull up the knots loosely at first and checked that the pages were turning comfortably, then tightened the knots.
The book with the tied hinges

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