metallic thread

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Shibori (tie-dye) antique kimono. Taisho period (1912-1926), Japan.  The Kimono Gallery. A chirimen (crepe) silk kimono featuring shibori-dyed motifs of yellow and red camellias. Spaced silver and gold metallic thread inserts create vertical highlights. The camellia, called ‘tsubaki" in Japan, is a symbol of spring, and has a long tradition in Japan. During the Heian period of a thousand years ago, in the book “A Tale of Genji”, the “sudden death” which camellias symbolized could as well be the sudden death of dreams, illusions, & love affairs. There was tragedy in camellias because they are simultaneously things of great beauty and of transience, indicative of the “sadness of things” in Buddhist philosophy. From China, the Japanese associate the two main parts of the camellia – the petals and the calyx, which holds the petals – with a young woman and young man, respectively. Just as a young man protects and supports the young woman he loves, the calyx protects the petals. This association also explains the far eastern belief that camellias symbolize pure, devoted love because when the flower’s petals fall off, so does the calyx. This characteristic is rare among flowers. The different colours of camellia has different associations, pertinent to the red and yellow flowers on this kimono: red camellias represents 'love’ , while yellow camellias represents 'longing’. Tie-dying the camellia motifs would have been exacting to create a realistic camellia outline. The aesthetics of the 'stream’ of camellia motifs is unusual and effective. This is another example of Taisho-period artists taking traditional motifs, and presenting them in new ways.

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I don’t usually have this much bling on my quilts, but “Bobbin, the Bold” is going to practically glow in the dark by the time I’m done.

Gold paint, metallic threads, and lots of crystals should complete my fairy tale illuminated manuscript.

I have to say though, working with metallic threads can be a pain. Even good ones shred occasionally, especially when you’ve been sewing for more than 8 hours and your needle is getting dull.

Still, I managed to stitch around all of my corner filligrees, scrolls and tool appliques before the thread gave up.

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Art Under the Microscope: Threads

How exactly was the gilding of tapestries done in the 16th century? These microscopic images reveal all.  

These images show the warp and weft threads used to create a background detail in the Triumph of Bacchus tapestry recently exhibited in “Woven Gold: Tapestries of Louis XIV.” 

Viewed from a distance (like when the tapestry is hanging high up on a wall), the combo of the crimson silk with the gold threads looks like a bright copper, and here we can see all the separate colors and textures that build up that look.


Triumph of Bacchus, design overseen by Raphael, ca. 1518-19; design and cartoon by Giovanni da Udine. Brussels, workshop of Frans Geubels, ca 1560. Paris, Mobilier National, inv. GMTT 1/3.  Image © Le Mobilier National. Photo by Lawrence Perquis


Art Under the Microscope is a series that features, well, art under the microscope, as photographed by our conservators to better study and preserve our collections.

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Evening shoes

Design House:House of Dior (French, founded 1947)
Designer:Roger Vivier (French, 1913–1998)
Date:1958                                                                                         Culture:French                                                                                                         Medium:silk, leather, metallic threads, plastic, glass 

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Summer kimono. Taisho period (1911-1927), Japan.  The Kimono Gallery. A woven silk hitoe (unlined) summer kimono featuring wild carp. The carp (koi) when used on a woman’s garment such as this example is emblematic of faithfulness in marriage and general good fortune. Some of the carp are silver and others black; the silver ones were created by silver-metallic thread woven inserts.  The kimono ‘canvas’ with these silver and black carp against a mottled blue atmospheric background is dramatic and experimental, befitting the Taisho period kimono renaissance.

HEARTBEAT (Bellamy Blake x Reader)

Request: could u please do one w Bellamy (start of s3) where 2 recon teams go out and the other one finds u and ur station and when Bellamy gets back he doesn’t know but walks in to inform Abby who’s in medical and sees u being examined but and he overheard u saying ur fine and to help the kids or smth and he like falls in love w u all over again and it’s a happy reunion thank u💖


The feeling of being rescued was an odd sense of freedom you hadn’t felt before. You sit on the bed in medical, watching Abby Griffin rushing around the room to the stethoscope. Smiling to yourself, you admire how hard she’s working to keep the survivors alive. You were pulled from the wreckage with minimum wounds by a recon team that was sent to find the location of the stations that landed. You can’t remember much about it, but you remember the feeling. 

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