Brazilian embroidery- Comparing Rayon and Perle Cotton

I was playing around with one of the free patterns from BDEIG site . The first time around I stitched the two leaves,pistils and both the double cast on petals on either side.But when it came to completing the remaining instructions, I changed my path and modified the flower to this.

Just wanted to see how the flower looks with the changes. Not bad,right? May be this flower too has a name in the BE dictionary.

I started again the second time, fully intending to complete the flower according to instructions.Once again had a brainwave midway through - why not show the difference between embroidering with Rayon and Perle cotton in the same design? Wouldn't it convey the message more clearly than mere words? Here's the result :

Can you distinguish between Rayon and cotton?

For the comparison to be effective ,I used the same shade of Lola and Anchor Perle cotton . Many a times this question is asked by first timers - why Rayon ?,why not Perle cotton floss?The main reason behind this is the twist of the threads - Rayon is Z twist while Perle cotton is S twist . And the next reason- have a careful look at the pics below.Do you think the sheen and texture of Rayon could be compared to those with cotton in any way? Isn't the difference obvious?

Extreme closeup!!

I tried the same technique with another color and type of rayon thread and an almost similar shade of anchor perle cotton. No prizes for guessing which is rayon and which is cotton.

It is this difference in looks which prompts all Brazilian embroidery experts to insist on rayon threads and not cotton threads. For Indians, a suitable subsitute would be cone threads and silk.

Wishing all my friends and readers in the blogland a very Merry Christmas and loads of
Love,luck and sunshine in the coming year,


  1. Interesting post, Deepa, to see the difference. Another benefit to the rayon is it's smoother to work with.

  2. oops...that's a major difference deepa....the sheen and texture of the rayon thread gives difference to the Brazilian Embroidery...did you try with that cone thread...hope it works fine..i have to try BE with the cone thread

  3. Dear Deepa,
    sometimes I wonder: polyester thread for quilting, acrylic colors for paintings, etc. will they last for centuries as the 'natural' stuff used in the past?
    But of course the brilliancy of the synthetic is un beattable.
    Marry Christmas to you!

  4. very nice... still i'm afraid to start BE.. coz i get only normal thread in my place......

  5. Yes, the difference is great!

    Want to wish you a very Merry Christmas too and a Happy New Year!
    xx Meri

  6. How nice to 'see' the difference. Thank you. Wishing you and yours a Very Merry Christmas, and All the Best for the New Year.

  7. HI Deepa... thanks for your lovely comment on my blog... very interesting comparison you have made... the rayon threads are definitely much more "rich" looking... however, I am a firm believer of using whatever you have or whatever you can afford to create your designs.... in this way, no one has to say I can't do that because I don't have the materials... it is good practice for when you are able to access the recommended threads... one thing I have to say is that the perle certainly reminds me of crewel work which is done with wool, which gives off a dull appearance, but the work is still truly beautiful... so wonderful comparison, but I say to all of you who don't try because you don't have.... use what you have... I often use Brazilian stitches with my cotton flosses and I a just enjoy the ability to do the stitches and not worry about what I am using.... once again, wonderful post and great for discussion! Hugs.

  8. very interesting post!!wishing you a very happy Christmas!!

  9. @Debbie
    Yes,that's one advantage I missed out :)
    I've tried cone threads and as mentioned at the end of the post I find them a better substitute for Rayon rather than perle cotton.

    @Blandina,@Meri and @Susan,
    Thank you :)
    Yes,I agree with your philosophy.Nonavailability of items should not stop us from trying .But what actually attracted me to BE was its shine and colors.I too started my BE using anchor stranded cotton,but was disappointed to find that they did not look as pretty and that prompted me to get the actual threads.So, if you want the actual look go for Rayon or cone thread (In India) ,otherwise use perle cotton and do dimensional stitches with them.

  10. thank you deepa for your ideas for BE and comments on my blog... Sure i'll try BE... thank you for your support

  11. That work is very lovely Deepa.I just bought some colours in cone thread and yet to try it out.The sheen is better than the ordinary thread.But definitely cant match Rayon thread..

  12. deepaji. ihave been following your blog for sometime with great interest. iam mrs. jayanthi from bangalore. iam specially interested in learning the technique of brazilian emboidery . would it be possible to post online tutorials for the same?where can i get rayon threads as also the needles reqd. for this emb. my email id jayanthiramaswamy @ . iwould be grateful if you could give me the reqd. info
    thanking you, jayanthi

  13. I am so glad you did this little experiment Deepa! It demonstrates the difference so well . I had always turned my nose up at the thought of using rayon! Maybe now I,ll give it a try .... your little flowers are beautiful ! : )


Post a Comment