Friday, March 21, 2014

Applique—Getting Those Beads Sewn On

The famous adage “simplicity is beauty” isn’t always applicable, at least not in the world of fashion and accessories. There is something more that can be done to a plain surface to make it more interesting and unique in people’s eyes. Perhaps this kind of expectation is what gave birth to the crafting technique called applique.

Applique involves mounting a material on another base material to produce intricate and distinctive designs. This can be done by sewing or embroidering, pasting, or pinning. Regardless of the method used, applique is indeed a very useful form of art that makes clothing design more dynamic and interesting.

Beads are among the most popular materials used for applique. By designing the beads with flat bases and holes on edges to allow for sewing, these small pieces can turn a dull fabric into an elegant one. The glittery cuts of the stones produce a sparkle not found in plain fabric. Furthermore, they can be made into patterns that perfectly match outfits of various styles.

Traditionally, applique is done manually to achieve complex details. Today, different kinds of machines are used to facilitate the job, especially for mass production. However, many producers still prefer handcrafting, particularly for special designs that need exceptional workmanship. In fact, some of the most beautiful applique work ever made in history, such as those displayed in museums, were all done by hand.

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