Sunday, April 20, 2014

Whirling Hollyhocks - A Textile Necklace

I remember making hollyhock "ballerinas" as a child and I decided that hollyhocks would be focals for this particular piece.
But how to do that exactly?

With mid-19th century fine dressmaking techniques, of course.

I started with the three dimensional center of the hollyhocks, using a technique more commonly used for creating fancy needle woven buttons (I plan a post regarding the buttons soon). I stuffed a circle of silk taffeta with wool roving and then used silk thread to add the needle woven embellishment. The addition of a silk taffeta rosette with self fabric fringe (two more Victorian techniques) formed a textile hollyhock. The teal version just has an oversized center and a minimal ruffle petal.

The base of the necklace is a corded ruffle, with the layers offset and, again, self fringed. The base also forms a loop, near center front, half of the closure, the other half being a slightly larger hollyhock center.

Available for purchase in my Etsy shop - Backward Glances.


  1. Beautiful...and again some history for us!! Thanks much!

  2. Fascinating post - brought back great memories of my sister and I making our own hollyhock dolls together! Inspired design, beautifully executed!