Wire and Floss Flowers Instructions

by

Loretta's Custom Stitchery

While visiting friends near Salzburg, Austria, I discovered an unusual art form known as Klosterarbeit. I later found similar work done in Malta, known as Ganutell.   I prefer using a more generic term, Wire and Floss Flowers.  These durable creations can be used in miniature arrangements or as jewelry. 

The art form of Wire and Floss Flowers consists of two different techniques.  One uses a fine wire (28 to 32 gauge) twisted with one or more strands of shiny floss (rayon) wrapped around a center vein.  [See picture on left]  The other uses coiled wire petal edges wrapped with floss. [See picture on right]

Supplies

Wire:  #30 gauge for twisting and #26 gauge for the petal veins - stiff #22 gauge green wire for stems

Floss: A rayon floss, either the DMC stranded, or EdMar Brazilian floss in fine weights work well.  Metallic floss can also be used

Beads:  For flower centers, metallic and pearl beads in 2-4mm sizes, and also seed beads and others

Floral tape for finishing the stems

The flowers look best with colored wire that matches the floss, but since wire colors are limited, this is not always possible.  #30 gauge wire is best for twisting with floss, but anything from #28 to #32 gauge can be used.  Combine a yard or meter length of wire with 1-2 strands of rayon floss the same length.  Tie together with an overhand knot at each end.  Using a hand drill or cord twister tool with a cup hook in the drill bit, tie one end of the wire/floss to the hook.  Have a friend hold the other end, or secure with a clamp.  Twist the wire and floss together until it forms a tight twist (about 10-12 twists to the inch).
Cut a 4" piece of #26 gauge wire to match your floss/wire cord. This will be known as the "core wire". Take the strand of cord and hold the knot near the left end of the core wire. Wrap over the wire 3 times.
Rotate it clockwise
Bring floss/wire cord to the other end of the wraps and wrap once over tail between wraps and knot. 
Rotate clockwise again.  Wrap once.  This completes one round or row.  Clip excess wire and knot beyond the wrap.  Make 5 to 7 rounds.
Next, wrap the core wire 3 times.  Apply a dab of glue over the final wraps and down the cord a bit.  When dry, cut close to the final wraps with wire cutters.  At the tip end, clip core wire " beyond the wraps, bend down against the back side.  You will find instructions in the book, Wire and Floss Flowers to make many variations of the basic petal to create flowers with different shaped petals. 
To make a flower, make 5-6 petals as shown above.

Take a 6" piece of #30 gauge wire and string a single large bead in the middle.  Run one end of the wire back through the bead a second time.  Pull up snug so the bead is in the center of the wire.  If you want a stiff stem, cut a 6" piece of stem wire and form a small hook at one end.  Secure the bead stamen to the stem wire.  If no stiff stem in needed, go on to the next step. 

Take a 6-8" piece of #30 wire.  Wrap it once around the stem or stamen wire just under the bead.  Arrange the first 3 petals around the stamen bead and wrap in place with the wire.  Add the remaining petals and wrap again with wire. 

Finish by wrapping the stem with floral tape.  Add some green leaf petals along the way if desired. 

Beads may be used along the core wire instead of wraps as seen in the leaves of the sample. 

[Home] [Brazilian Embroidery] [Stumpwork Embroidery] [Wire & Floss Flowers]

2005 Loretta's Custom Stitchery, all rights reserved