Thursday, July 23, 2020

Using the Treasure Trove - How Do You Tame A Tassel?

One of the first things I pulled from the treasure trove of upcycled goodies to experiment with was tassels. There are basically two types: the shorter versions, which are typically more of a cotton fiber and were more often in pairs; and longer tassels, which are a silky-rayon fiber, usually only one of each color or shade in each trim sample.

Some of the shorter tassels are visible in the lower left quadrant, 
while the longer tassels are in the upper right corner.

So, pairs of tassels = earrings! I made beaded bands for some, kind of like belly bands. Others I left unadorned and dangled from larger beads. 

They were fun, they were flirty, and they were MESSY! In the process of dislodging them from the sample books they were glued into when I brought them home, the fibers suffered a bit in the process. There's a difference between boho chic earrings and earrings that look like they've been on three-day benders.

Poor baby. She looks rough.

Moistening individual strands didn't really do the trick to straighten them out. So I took a deep breath one day and full on dunked them. I swirled them in water. I treated them like a donut in a glass of milk. When the fibers were saturated, I hung them all up and worked the tassels straight, and left them to dry.

It worked!

The single tassels seemed destined for pendants, so I combined them with some cabochons made from upcycled upholstery fabric remnants. There are only a couple so far, but these elegant ladies were much better behaved and avoided the dunking. I'm sure part of it has to do with the difference in what the tassels are made of, but it was nice to have them put up less of a fight. The luster of these tassels would work well with a gemstone cabochon, which is what I think I'll use next.


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