Castelo Branco Bird

I’m starting a new project! (post with an overview of Castelo Branco embroidery). I am working this bird design from the Castelo Branco magazine Méri sent, using the Portuguese silk and rayons she sent (previous post on the lovely gifts from Portugal). Here is my progress so far:

I worked two petals on this flower. I’m doing it in pink because I have more of that color available). Isn’t it pretty? I’m still working on my stitching. The thread is some kind of rayon, with lots of strands and a strong predilection for frizzing. It’s giving me a some trouble. The results are beautiful though, so I’m excited about the project.

I don’t have any yellow threads but I like the cheerful yellow color of the bird in the picture.  I’m trying to work out what a good thread available in the US would be. I’ve started here with some kind of rayon I think, but it’s definitely not a match. It’s not fluffy enough, and has only two strands. I have a little Pearsall’s silk but I’m not sure that’s  a match either. I will have to try again. Maybe another kind of rayon. It reminds me a little of Chinese silk.

In other news, I have discovered Q-snap frames. These are great! Easy to use, cheap, and they don’t crumple my fabric like hoops do.

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11 Responses to Castelo Branco Bird

  1. Mary Martin says:

    Oh wow, that is going to be gorgeous! I don’t know much about that type of embroidery, but I have done some reading that said the rayon threads need to be handled a bit differently than silk or cotton. Here’s the site – you might poke around to try to get more info on the thread:
    I can’t wait to see what you do with this – it is going to be beautiful. I’ve been wanting to try brazilian embroidery – this might push me to try it soon.
    On the hoop/frame issue, have you tried using evertite frames? There’s a learning curve in getting used to the weight, especially on larger pieces. I hated them at first. But I kept trying, and now I love them. I still use hoops for smaller pieces, but I’ve been collecting the different sizes of evertite, and definitely have gotten used to it.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I love this design! I will look back through your posts to see if I can find the magazine reference. Maybe I can order it from the US. I agree the the spritely yellow body of the bird is an essential color. Maybe silk will work if you can’t find rayon. The silliness and sheen will work well together I think. If I can find the magazine I think I will stitch it with my stash of Victoria Clayton’s hand dyed fibers silks that I gave. They are exquisite!

    • Hannah says:

      The magazine information is given in the Gifts from Portugal post linked from the top of this post. If you do stitch it, please send me photos!

  3. Those are untwisted art(ificial) silk threads . I too have a bunch of them courtesy Meri 🙂 Art silk threads are easy to get, but the untwisted ones seems to be difficult to procure.

  4. Marjorie says:

    To aid in working with rayon threads, I’ve found wetting them slightly and even working with them while damp helps control the bounce rayon seems to have.

  5. Rachel says:

    Like Marjorie I find damping them very slightly helps, although it does also permanently change the appearance of the thread if you wet it too much!

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