HSM #11 Update – The Spangles are Finished

I have to say that this spangling business went a lot more quickly than I initially thought. The front of the reticule is now twinkling. I very much like the color of the brown spangles on the shot cotton. This photo is very close to its true color.





I back-stitched around the perimeter by hand, then trimmed the piece to the cutting lines.

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Now it looks more like a reticule in the making, and not such a confusing blob. I still need to make a decision about the embroidery for that space outlined in white stitches, though I’d best make it soon.

I was going to do the bulk of the hidden work by machine, but I’m enjoying the hand sewing so much I’ve decided to do the entire thing by hand. Such a lovely occupation on these cold and dark nights.


4 thoughts on “HSM #11 Update – The Spangles are Finished

    • Spangles were originally, and for centuries, made of metal. Metal spangles were found in King Tut’s tomb. But in the late 1800’s British inventors developed cellulose plastic and I believe that’s what the antique spangles I’m using are probably made of.

      For the purpose of making spangles, pure cellulose is derived from wood pulp or cotton linters (pieces too short for textile use). The specific type of plastic for the end product depends on which of five reactants are added to the cellulose. There are four cellulose esters: cellulose acetate, cellulose propionate, cellulose acetate butyrate and cellulose nitrate. And there is one cellulose ether: ethyl cellulose. Each of these cellulose plastics has different qualities: varying degrees of brittleness, temperature at which it softens, reflectivity, etc.

      Given the age and characteristics of my spangles, my guess is that they’re cellulose acetate. Here’s more than you ever wanted to know about it. 😉

      Cellulose Acetate is an amber-colored, amber-colored, transparent material made by the reaction of cellulose and acetic acid or acetic anhydride in the presence of sulfuric acid.

      It is thermoplastic and easily molded. The molded parts or sheets are tough, easily machined, and resistant to oils and many chemicals. In coatings and lacquers the material is adhesive, tough, and resilient, and does not discolor easily. Cellulose acetate fiber for rayons can be made in fine filaments that are strong and flexible, nonflammable, mildew proof, and easily dyed. Standard cellulose acetate for molding is marketed in flake form.

      In practical use, cellulose acetate moldings exhibit toughness superior to most other general-purpose plastics. Flame-resistant formulations are currently specified for small appliance housings and for other uses requiring this property. Uses for cellulose acetate molding materials include toys, buttons, knobs, and other parts where the combination of toughness and clear transparency is a requirement.

      Extruded film and sheet of cellulose acetate packaging materials maintain their properties over long periods. Here also the toughness of the material is advantageously used in blister packages, skin packs, window boxes, and overwraps. It is a breathing wrap and is solvent and heat sealable.

      Large end uses for cellulose acetate films and sheets include photographic film base, protective cover sheets for notebook pages and documents, index tabs, sound recording tape, as well as the laminating of book covers. The grease resistance of cellulose acetate sheet allows its use in packaging industrial parts with enclosed oil for protection.

      For eyeglass frames, cellulose acetate is the material in widest current use. Because fashion requires varied and sometimes novel effects, sheets of clear, pearlescent, and colored cellulose acetate are laminated to make special sheets from which optical frames are fabricated.

      The electrical properties of cellulosic films combined with their easy bonding, good aging, and available flame resistance bring about their specification for a broad range of electrical applications. Among these are as insulations for capacitors; communications cable; oil windings; in miniaturized components (where circuits may be vacuum metallized); and as fuse windows.

      Cellulose triacetate is widely used as a solvent cast film of excellent physical properties and good dimensional stability. Used as photographic film base and for other critical dimensional work such as graphic arts, cellulose triacetate is not moldable.

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