Silk Shading, Thread Painting, Needle Painting

What is silk shading?

Silk shading, also known as thread painting, needle painting, or painting with a needle, is the art of creating a photo like image using a needle and thread.

Using nothing but a range of colours and long and short stitch, realistic and life like images can be created. The realistic images are created through careful and considered placement of colour and stitch direction, blending colours to make the images jump off the fabric.

There are a few different approaches to learning and stitching silk shading. You may find this summary useful in helping you to create your own art work.

Stitches Used

The only stitch used is long and short stitch. However, that does also mean you need to use split stitch to outline your elements before stitching!

The use of stitches like French Knots and Bullion Knots can be used to increase realism and add further details.

Tapestry Shading

Tapestry shading is similar to silk shading, however there are no stitch direction lines – they are all vertical! The flow of the image, and the realism, is achieved through shading alone. I’ve not yet worked a piece of tapestry shading, however it is a technique I would like to try!

Some Projects Worked in Silk Shading

Click the buttons below to go through to some of my projects worked in ‘silk shading’.

Some images of ‘Silk Shading’

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