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Book review: Soutache

Unless you don't read any beading magazines, you have to be aware that the centuries-old art of soutache has been showing up everywhere in jewelry design.  Now there is finally an English language text to teach you all you need to know to get started with this elegant art form: Soutache, by Anneta Valious and published by Lark Books!

Soutache is a flat fiber braid with a groove down the center, comprised of two rows of piping or cording wrapped in viscose, cotton, or synthetic fibers.  First developed in France in the fifteenth century, soutache embroidery has made a decorative appearance throughout history in and on jewelry, clothing, military uniforms, and more.
Soutache projects are a blend of sewing and bead embroidery, with elegant swirls of braid hand stitched together and decorated with beads, crystals, gemstones and more, and then attached to a fiber backing.  You'll learn to make earrings, rings, barrettes, pins, necklaces, bracelets, and pendants.

Maybe you'd like to try it out first?  Lark Books has made a sample project available for free, the Zenith bracelet shown above.  You can download it at the link.

My very favorite piece of Anneta's is the Mermaid Dreams necklace, shown above, on page 118 of the book.  Besides Anneta's 30 gorgeous designs, there is also a gallery filled with exquisite work by artists that I've never heard of before, but expect to see much more from in the future!

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Yes, these designs have been HOT especially in Eastern Europe for some time. Does the appearance of a text in English mean it is finally getting more popular here in North America, Cyndi?
Cyndi L said…
I am sure of it! I can't pick up a beading magazine lately without there being an example, a project, or at least a mention of soutache :-)