Tambour embroidery course with Couture embroidery and embelishments

couture_btnCurrently sat on the train on my way back home from a fantastic weekend!  I couldn’t wait to share it all with you so I thought I’d use the oh so boring train journey to type this up!

I’ve always wanted to learn to tambour and had been looking at various options for weekend courses when I came across Deman College in Oxford
( head of the Women’s Institute).

We arrived on the Friday, dropped off our stuff in some lovely homely rooms and headed to the dining room for a superb 3 course dinner ( food was not a shortage on this course! Breakfast, 11’s 2 course lunch, afternoon tea followed by a 3 course dinner!  )

We then got to meet the tutors, having been on various crafty and embroidery courses before, you never quite know what your going to get till your there. DIanne and Lesley stood up and introduced themselves, instantly you could tell that it was going to be a good weekend!  Full of smiles and huge amounts of enthusiasm. So many years of experience, I couldn’t have had better tutors! We had an introduction to the course and was shown various samples. All were absolutely beautiful!  I was so excited to start the next morning  that I couldn’t sleep!!

Here are a few samples of Diane and Lesleys beautiful work…




The first task was to get everybody used to the techniques. To do this, we used a crochet hook on a very wide rubber net stretched over  a frame. This allowed  us to get used to the movements we needed to make. Everyone was off to a flying start, even when we started to add some big beads!




The ease was short lived and the class moved onto the real frames with organza and using the real tambour hook. Trying not to snag the organza fibres when pulling the threads up was tricky,  never mind trying not to move your wrist and mainly use the strength of your fingers to turn the hook into various positions.  After a while, I got the hang of it and decided to try a diagonal and curved line. well….my struggles started again but I think.I’ve just about got the hang of it!



A few trials with pearl beads, different size bugle beads and sequins followed before stating the bow motif.  The bow shape allowed us to tambour in all directions with different size beads. the trick is to try and make as few ‘ stop and starts ‘ as possible so planning your project in advance is key!  First was the outline of rondella beads, followed by a double line of small bugle beads.







The detail in the middle.of each section is hand sewn without using the hook.
It’s safe to say that I’m rather happy with the finished product!

A bit more practising and I’m hoping to have my technique and tension down to a T!  Diane and Lesley from Couture Beading were absolutely fabulous!  How they have so much patience when everyone in the class were dropping beads,  needing help and asking so many questions, I.don’t know!  I don’t think any of us could have done it without them! There portfolio of work was absolutely astounding and I really hope to join them in their London studio for more tuition soon!
Expect to see lots of tambour work in my final university project starting next month, I’m truly hooked!  I advise anyone interested in this technique to take part on a course as the help from tutors is so much better than anything you can learn on line!!  Get in touch with dianne and Lesley!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s