Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Old Beaded Dance Shirt

My first dance shirt used old loomwork strips different than lazy stitch and easier for a beginner beader to master. The strips are beaded on a loom and transfered and sewn directly onto a garment, much simpler than applying lazy stitch. But the most striking feature of this shirt is the added yellow quillwork around the strip edges and the neck yoke. Working with porcupine quills can be a frustrating and highly fulfilling job when done right. Quills predated glass beads by thousands of years and were one of the first decorations used on primitive garments. They were naturally dyed and worked in an intricate fashion, more difficult than beadwork but lighter and to my mind, giving an ancient awesome feel to a piece of clothing. Modern day quillwork is available but it's expensive and worth every penny.

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