‘Gimp’ is a thread formed from a central core (polyester) which is smoothly and solidly wrapped in very fine, untwisted 6-thread tram silk (100% silk). The FINE gimp is approximately 0.5mm in diameter.
For many years, I have been looking for a product which will recreate the texture and feel of the beautifully fine silk gimp used extensively in 17th century stumpwork but would also fulfil the demands of creative embroidery today.
I commissioned this product from the wonderful ‘Heritage Trimmings’ in my home city of Derby. Heritage are specialist passementerie makers, producing tassels and trimmings for famed clients in the UK and beyond, often recreating historical pieces with immense attention to detail. I have worked with this company on various commissions over my career. They have been a delight to work with whilst creating this product over the last few years, producing endless samples with patience and commitment.
I wanted the gimp to have a fluid feel but also to have enough body to produce crisp, characterful stitches. Having tried out the gimp extensively, I know it is fabulous for surface stitching through fabric (using a no.22 or no. 24 chenille needle), for exquisitely crisp needlelace (using a no. 24 or no.22 tapestry needle) and for couching. I was so excited with the final samples that I had to try these on the bus on the way home from the factory!
The gimp is supplied in 5m lengths, on tiny wooden reels which have been made to replicate an antique reel in my collection.
Most gimps are single colour, but some people use a blend of 2-3 silks to achieve a lovely mottled effect.
You can see the gimp used in my designs : Blackwell Roundel, The Owl and the Pussycat, Peacock Étui.
Alongside the gimp, we have developed a range of matching silk flosses which coordinate with the gimp and can therefore be used to stitch the gimp invisibly. This silk floss is also stunning for laidwork.
For a close-up of the gimps, either click on the magnifying glass on the main picture, which will take you to a gallery of all the colours in this section, or click on the name below.
The colours in this range are
|1.||Tawny||Stitched with Tawny Silk Floss|
|2.||Acorn||Stitched with Acorn Light Silk Floss or Acorn Medium Silk Floss|
|3.||Old Gold||Stitched with Old Gold Yellow Silk Floss or Old Gold Brown Silk Floss|
|4.||Buttercup||Stitched with Buttercup Silk Floss|
Other tones are available here – Purple: Red, Pink and Orange: Blue: Green: Neutral Tones
Very Fine Silk Gimp in Yellow and Brown Tones is available HERE.
Fine Silk Floss in Yellow and Brown Tones is available HERE.
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