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Foreword to the course "Professional Luneville (Tambour) Embroidery".

My dear colleague, I am inviting you to a wonderful world of Luneville or tambour embroidery!

Not so long ago only those, who were somehow connected with the high fashion world, knew about Luneville embroidery. Wedding and evening dressmakers looked at the photos of dresses and corsets with curiosity and wondered how such beauty was created. Luneville embroidery as well as the corset making technique was a sealed secret.  However, the time has come when everything is relatively open and available!

There are numerous video tutorials on the internet now.  You can try to copy the skillful movements of embroiderers. Luckily, we do not need many tools for that. Beads and sequins are available in any handicraft shops and the Luneville hooks are inexpensive and available in regular online shops.    

Having impulsive desire, many people take their first steps in mastering this embroidery technique. Unfortunately, I know many people, who after some attempts, decide not to proceed and put the Luneville hook away. Why? There is no much time for training, but it is impossible to embroider even a small motif without exercising and practicing the movements. Moreover, when the thread is tangled, loops and beads are falling off the hook, you do not have any nerves and time to gain proper experience.  And… the hook is put away without much regret as you have not spent a lot of time and money.

Although, I am pretty sure that the desire to embroider is still there!  It is simply postponed to better times, when you have more free time. In your dreams from time to time you will remember how cool and exciting is to embroider with the Luneville hook and what a beauty can be created with it!

Especially for those, who still have the desire to learn, I have developed my own method to master the professional Luneville hook through so-called American hook for tambour embroidery.

The method is simple. During the embroidery with the Luneville hook, both hands should do 6 synchronous movements. If you add beads or sequins, your hands should make 7-8 movements. Each separate movement is simple and clear. The difficulty is to synchronize movements of both hands and to make these simple operations consecutive, automatic and rhythmic. There are plenty of video tutorials on the internet about those hand movements.  It seems that everyone after watching the tutorials should be able to embroider fast and confidently.

So, what is the obstacle? I have analyzed that and my conclusion is below.

When one practices using the Luneville hook without accessories, and this is advised by the teachers to start embroidery with, a beginner is quick to learn the movements and even to pull easily the hook out of the fabric.

You embroider your first chain and it is counted as the first victory!

Although, the main difficulties appear when the student starts embroidering with seed beads and sequins!

Firstly, the embroidery is made on the underside of the fabric and the beginner does not understand how the accessories should be arranged to make the even chain of beads and sequins when changing the embroidery directions.

Secondly, during embroidery one needs to simultaneously control the synchronous movements of hands. For instance, it is necessary to comply with stitch spacing corresponding to length of accessories.  The thing is when embroidering without beads, it is impossible to work out a certain length of stitching, since it is not critical. But when you add accessories of different sizes to your embroidery, the question of the stitch spacing becomes important!

Finally, when you make a simple tambour stitch, there is no need to control the thread tension. The beginner feels only thread in his hands and intuitively pulls or loosens it when necessary. However, it is absolutely different when you have beads on the thread. The beginner tries to hold the beads and squeezes the beads and involuntarily also squeezes the thread. When the seed beads are falling down, there is no way to control the tension. Your brain ceases to manage multiple tasks simultaneously - to hold a bead, to place a bead, to keep spacing, not to pull the thread, to catch the thread, to turn the hook, to enlarge the hole on the fabric, to get the hook out. All these operations need to be done synchronously and rhythmically!

Thus, I have studied this matter and come to the conclusion that the success is only possible when you learn all movements in order, but not at the same time! 

The most annoying thing is that every movement of your hands is extremely simple! It does not require any specific talents and abilities! For example, millions of women can knit and it does not surprise anyone! No one consider it to be something unusual and available only to the selected ones. Tambour embroidery is of almost no difference from knitting! It is just necessary to find the method to master its specific features.

It is the method, which I want to share in my new course “The basics of professional Luneville or tambour embroidery”. In this course I managed to break down the mastering of Luneville embroidery into stages by using an additional hook for tambour embroidery.

In the first part of the course I suggest mastering the skills by embroidering a pattern with accessories. I will demonstrate the work of the American hook, which is extremely easy to make a tambour stitch with. You will not have to think about looping, so it will give the opportunity to pay more attention to the bead arrangement and proper spacing.

Moreover, I will suggest embroidering the particular project, but not the boring exercises, for which no one has time and desire. Together we will make the real and beautiful embroidery in the high-fashion style – we will embroider a volumetric rosehip flower.

However, as you understand the simplified embroidery technique is limited. So, we will have to postpone the flower embroidery till we learn some additional movements.

Although at that stage you will already get very useful skills and the result as the started embroidery project! The unfinished embroidery will be an incentive to continue learning!

In the next part of our course we will learn one of the most important skills of tambour embroidery- feeding seed beads or sequins underneath the frame with the underside facing the embroiderer. When you approach this process, you will not think about other unnecessary movements! Your task will be to feed the bead and to release the thread. A loop will be formed itself due to our special hook.  You do not have to think about the arrangement of beads and sequins and about the spacing based on size of accessories. All these skills you have already acquired in the previous part of the course. In this part of the course you will not only complete the first embroidery project, but also embroider the other pattern for a wedding dress, using seed beads of various types and sizes.   

Gradually introducing new skills into your work without thinking about skills acquired earlier, you will feel confident and eager to start embroidery with the Luneville hook.   

Certainly, the possibilities to embroider with the professional Luneville hook are much wider. It is thin, very smooth and sharp. A fine, detailed and neat embroidery is possible with such hook. It can be called a jewelry hook!

At this stage when you get the Luneville hook you will be surprised to find out that you need to concentrate only on two movements – to turn the hook to catch the thread and to pull it out of the fabric. You should not worry about the feed of accessories, the thread tension and the spacing! You know it all and can do it automatically! Having worked with the American hook and learned all main movements of the hands, you will never forget them! When you start with the Luneville hook, you will just need to add couple of simple and understandable movements. At that moment you will know well how to hook the thread, which side to wrap it from, when to tighten and to loosen it and so on.

Therefore, from this very minute the embroidery with the Luneville hook will cause enjoyment, not irritation! Please do not put the American hook far away. Believe me, it will become your assistant in many complex situations.

Besides, in the course I will also show you how to make satin stitch embroidery with triple thread and introduce the basics of Zardozi embroidery.

By the end of the course you will embroider three full motifs, which can become a part of any wedding or evening dresses. Yes, I am not a supporter of boring educational courses. During our training course you will be able to make real embroideries or even might start to earn money.

Regarding the question where to purchase all necessary equipment and tools, I attached the links to all online shops, which I tested.

I feel that you are eager to start embroidery, so let’s get started!