Treat Yourself to Danish Medallions
Who doesn’t like sprinkles and a cherry on the top of their sundae? That’s sort of my mentality when it comes to adding surface embellishments to my handwoven fabrics. As nice as a handwoven piece of fabric is when it comes off the loom, sometimes it just needs a little extra “something” to take it to the next level. Although youmust take into consideration the type of embellishments that will be most appropriate for the piece of fabric you’re weaving, we as weavers are fortunate to have an encyclopedia of techniques available to us if we take the time to study them and apply them.
Some of my favorite go-to surface embellishments are Danish medallions. Danish medallions can be woven in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they can be altered to work with many different setts and weft materials, they can be embellished with beads, and so much more. I first fell in love with medallions after purchasing Jane Patrick’s book The Weaver’s Idea Book. On a personal quest to expand my repertoire for augmenting my plain-weave fabric, this became a great source of inspiration.
So when would you choose to use something like a Danish medallion? Well, for me there are several factors that contribute to my design process. First and foremost, I love using Danish medallions when I’m using a unique yarn that I want to highlight and not have lost within the weave structure of a plain weave fabric. By allowing the threads to float on the surface of the fabric, supported by a tabby background, the fancy yarn becomes the main focal point. I will also use Danish medallions when I’m looking to add some graphic element with 30°, 45°, or 60° angles without the need for a multi-harness twill structure.
I also love using this technique to add a little bling to my work with the addition of beads. Danish medallions allow you to place beads at random or in a very specific design without the need to pre-string them onto your shuttle. There are many other variations worth noting–I encourage to you to experiment with them and see how you can