Temari balls – rayon and bunka threads

December 11, 2009

Bunka thread

This is the largest temari I own – it’s from Japan and stitched in bunka chainette thread. It’s on a white mari background and each of the six faces of the complex 8 divisions is done in a different colour range. Did I mention it is 55cm in circumference? No, that’s not a typo. I have one other made in bunka, but haven’t been tempted so far to experiment with this type of thread.

On rayon and other fibres

Anyone familiar with the Japanese temari how-to books will be familiar with the intriguing range of threads used by the authors and the unusual effects in terms of texture that can be achieved. They range from rough textured silk to ultra-glossy rayons that practically defy flash photography. I was AWOL when it came to the Threads Challenge of Yahoo! Temari Challenge recently, but have watched with keen interest the temari balls which have developed out of it. It involved working with the following

Petite Velvet Brite Blue V634
Petite Velvet Dark Raspberry V665
Nordic Gold Purple ND10 
Mandarin Floss Lite Sky Blue M901 
Patina Plum PA268

I thought I might want to “catch up” with the Challenge independently by ordering the same threads online, but that’s not as easy as it sounds. I gather they are distributed under the Rainbow Gallery range of threads and are available to American stitchers from local shops. Within Rainbow Gallery are several lines, including Patina (rayon) and Mandarin (bamboo), for example. Nordic Gold is available in Australia, but not the others – and ordering from the USA is not without difficulties since I’ve found only one online shop,  Nordic Needle, with a range of Patina, for example.

I’m enormously impressed with what Debi has done with Patina just by itself – http://temarimath.info/temaritrain/ – purple and gold, one reversing the other I think.

While contemplating getting hold of Patina from Nordic Needle, expediency dictates Japanese rayon thread now available in Australia – http://temari-addict-australia.blogspot.com – so if experimenting with rayon is on the cards, this is the way to go!

I’ve managed to acquire two Ehime-patterned temari from Japan. Both are 37cm in diameter and are on rock-hard mari. Being Ehime or Hime in character (Ehime Prefecture relates to the city of Matsuyama on Shikoku Island in southern Japan), they involve complex wrapped patterns forming noshi (wishing papers) patterns at the obi. One of the two (12 divisions, complete with tassle) employs the telltale signs of Ehime – a fine layer of two-way cross-hatching over the mari before the highlight layers are added. Basically over the white-silver and orange-gold cross-hatched ?orange mari are wrapped bands in copper-red, jade-green and white. Over that are are thin wraps of white to form a white star at the poles. The whole thing positively glows, given the rayon thread used.  The other uses a Rose Garden arrangement on a bright red mari. Some final metallic white threads are coming loose in places and one of the poles shows indicates it’s been stuck on a pole and secured with a bit of candle wax – I’d say it’s seen active duty in a local festival or celebration, rather than been carefully tucked away as a treasured ornament. I’ve decided to rescue the metallic white threads and rewrap, as well as secure, them properly. What intrigues me is that someone has drawn with green texta-colour the position on the hall for the white threads. To renovate the ball properly, means covering up these green ink marks.

I’m impressed on several counts by the hime temari done in rayon: the accuracy of the laying down of the threads, especially the cross-hatching on the mari, the reflective glossiness of the rayon and the enormous amount of thread employed.


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