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Candlewicking, what?!

May 4, 2009 in General

candlewicking2_lgWhen I first heard the term Candlewicking, I thought we were going to be making actual candles; installing the wick into wax. I was completely intrigued and thought, “Sweet! Now I can do something with the leftover wax from my last candle.”

After I got over my moment of excitement, I wondered how candlewicking fit into sewing. What do candles and sewing have to do with one another? Alas, I learned the true meaning of candlewicking — a big French Knot or Colonial Knot and an outline stitch of your choice, primarily tone on tone color scheme.

candlewicking1_lgYou might recognize this type of stitching from your grandmother’s house when you were a child. You know, the pillow that you were never allowed to sleep on (not that you would want to with all those bumps!) or the bed spread that were never allowed to sleep under. That’s all candlewicking!

During the Colonial days, settlers didn’t have the money or the means to get the fine fabrics of the time. So, being the resourceful pioneers that they were, they created their own fine fabric using the Colonial Knot and, traditionally, a backstitch. And, instead of normal thread, they used a soft spun cotton thread, which at the time was used for the wicks of candles. Thus Candlewicking was born!

5 responses to Candlewicking, what?!

  1. Can the babylock machine do candlewicking?

    • Kelly said on May 6, 2009

      True candlewicking is done by hand sewing, however you can achieve a candlewicking look by machine. Baby Lock does not have a specific stitch called candlewicking, however you can use a decorative star stitch and shorten the stitch length. Also using a 30 weight cotton thread helps to recreate the hand look of candlewicking.

  2. iAM SO LOOKING FOR A BEDSPREAD TO CANDLEWICK.
    I DID ONE [THE TREE OF LIFE AND QUILTED] IN 96-97 AND REALLY WANT ANOTHER TO DO HOPE SOME ONE CAN HELP .. THANKS A LOT LOUISE

    • Louise, I hope you find a bedspread. I have one that I inherited from my grandmother and love it!

  3. I just saw a bed quilt top already stamped for candlewicking online at Herrschners.

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