Section of a traditional wall hanging with shisha mirror work
As I mentioned before I am very interested in Shisha embroidery. I was going to write a blog post on it, but as I searched I found that many people have already gone over the subject and done a better job than I! So instead, here is a few links and artists I think you should check out if you are also interested in this subject.
Shisha means little glass and is the process of attaching round mirrors to fabric. The mirrors were placed in significant positions on clothing to ward off evil spirits and the evil eye. They were also used on decorative textiles to place over doorways etc to keep out evil spirits and on sacred textiles.
My own shisha experiments with bottle caps
Penny's work was what first lead me to Shisha. She has produced some beautiful pieces like her invisibility mask here and my fave experiment here
She also wrote an amazing article on Shisha for Mr X Stitch which you should read here
Detail of my shisha work
How to Shisha
There are several tutorials online about the process of Shisha. I learned the technique from Joyful Abode here. It uses lots of photos and is really helpful.
Stitch Magazine posted this diagram on their site to show you how to Shisha with instructions here
An alternative shisha stitch
On the Pakistani Embroidery Blog there is a different version of the stitch (pictures above)which you can learn to do here
I really like the shape of this version, but it hides more of the item being attached.
Sonie from Sonie's Embroidery World offers free square Shisha patterns on her blog here, which I might have to have a go at!
Beer Cap Belt WIP
My Own Shisha Work
I have been experimenting with Shisha myself as you have seen from the photos throughout this blog. My main reason for the experiments was for a belt I am working on.... so above is a sneak preview of the work in progress... keep your eyes peeled for the finished product!
Shisha mirror work at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London