Nouveau Festonneur

Nouveau Festonneur

Readers I wouldn’t blame you if you suddenly thought that this blog had become a tad more highbrow given the French title of this post…may I quickly set you at ease, SuziWong Creations is still a very humble place in the blogosphere.  If you read the title, sighed with relief thinking, ‘thank goodness this drivel is finally coming up in the world’, i apologise profusely – this little piggy is still wading the same mud puddle as previously  😆

Okay Readers, I need you to focus now…Have you ever wondered how a lovely scalloped edge was made on those sweet dainty baby wear items?  Well, the process begins with the design being transferred to the fabric. ‘And how were those design transfers done?’, I’ll pretend I hear you ask I hear you ask?  You already know I’m not a fan of suspense so here’s your answer: Those designs were, ‘once upon a time’, transferred to the fabric by using a Nouveau Festonneur…a lovely little gadget that has a roller handle and interchangeable rubber stamp cylinders with various designs on them.  Ink was impregnated onto the ink roller, the rubber stamp cylinders rolled over the ink roller and then transferred the design onto the fabric…Clear as mud  😆

festoon edge

I have two Festonneurs…a black handled one and a red handled one. I am without doubt enamoured with these gorgeous needlework tools.  Although to be honest, I’m not sure I will use them as they were originally designed.  One would normally roll the ink directly onto the fabric to make the design…I think I would change that technique slightly; first i would roll the design onto paper and use the printed design to use the ‘prick and pounce’ method of transfer design or perhaps directly transfer the design using a light box and water soluble pen/pencil.

‘Why not use the festonneur as it was intended?’ you say…Readers, that’s a good question – and here’s your answer.  Firstly some of the rubber designs are not as good as they originally were and embroidery transfers have to be perfect if you want the embroidery to be perfect – after all the transfer is the foundation of the embroidery; make a strong foundation and the rest will follow suit.  Secondly, I’m not familiar with a water soluble ink that wouldn’t bleed into the fabric making the design sloppy – same ‘ole same ‘ole; a precise design will help develop precise embroidery.

Festonneur close up

For those of you who were completely destroyed to learn that my little corner of the blogosphere hadn’t moved up the social ladder, I thought I could impart some totally useless information to make your visit here not entirely wasted.  The name Nouveau Festonneur means New Festoner. The new part alludes to a newer way of making design transfers in comparison to previous older technologies of design transfer at that time…A feston is also known as a festoon; a lovely swag design. These days, and in English speaking circles, we know the swag design as a scallop. It’s commonly used as an edge (of the fabric) embroidery technique.  Highbrow friends, have I sated your thirst for a more elite blog post? I hope so, but to be honest, I’m not sure I’ll be able to continue delivering such quality material – after all, I’m still the same pig in mud.

Soon I’ll look into fabric inks so that I can have a play with my festonneurs and Readers I promise I won’t exclude you from the playground – rest assured I’ll be that rare but inclusive kid in the playground and invite you to read all about my adventures.

Until then, keep on keeping on and have fun while you’re doing it 🙂

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