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The Textile Artist


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About the Author

An artistically inclined mother with a keen interest in all things beautiful got Di off to an early start as an embroiderer. Her love for this discipline soon became her livelihood and starting an embroidery business was just another natural progression for this talented crafter. She opened her first shop in the Natal Midlands and when the family decided to uproot and move to Johannesburg, along went the business. After four years of running one of Johannesburg's most successful embroidery shops, the family's urge to settle in Cape Town became too strong to ignore. Di now lives in the Mother City where she runs two successful embroidery shops. The end product of her latest interest, hand painting her own range of silk and organza ribbons for embroidery, is marketed to retail outlets worldwide.

One of the founder members of the Cape Embroiderers' Guild, Toody Cassidy is an avid felter and creative embroiderer who loves to share her passion for fabric, fibre and thread, patterns, colours and design with others. She has hand-dyed and sold different types of threads and fibres, including cotton, silk and wool, and mastered the art of silk paper making. Toody and Di have worked together over more than 15 years.


Following on from Di's previous book, Ribbon Embroidery and Stumpwork, this one is yet another sumptuous offering. I'm not sure where to begin in singing its praises. Not only is it a visual treat, but if you are not already a felting or ribbon embroidery enthusiast, you will certainly be tempted to have a go after seeing the sheer volume of information here.

This time, Di joins forces with fellow South African expert Toody Cassidy whose colourful and explicit step-by-step instructions are so clear and attractive. Not one move is left to the imagination. As for the drawn diagrams, they are amongst the very best I've ever seen.

There are no less than 14 attractive projects to make, once you have become familiar with the process, any of which I'd be delighted to own.

* SEW Region Magazine (December 2019) *

Internationally renowned ribbon artist, Di van Niekerk, has brought the textile and embroidery worlds together to create a unique book that combines the two mediums, with fabulous results. Working in close association with felt specialist Toody Cassidy, and featuring art by felt designer Razaan Jakoet, Di has produced a book that will delight and inspire beginners keen to work with the striking fusion of felt and silk.

* Be Creative With Workbox *

The photography...is stunning throughout.

-- Naomi Clarke * Customer review *

An essential book for those wishing to try felting and silk ribbon embroidery

-- Ruth Boyd * Customer review *

Beautiful photos throughout illustrating the techniques, each stage and finished projects.

-- Sarah Dennis * Customer review *

Brilliant book for anyone who loves working 3D

-- Lyn Rochester * Customer review *

The instructions on making the felt are very clear.

-- Alison Stevens * Customer review *

This is a book I would recommend, especially if you've tried or want to try felting

-- Denise Marvin * Customer review *

The combination of felting and silk ribbon embroidery is magical. Make felted backgrounds and enhance them with silk ribbon embroidery. Step-by-step instructions are included for felting and for making silk embroidered flowers and creatures. See how to wet felt with wool and silk embellishments; silk paper, needle felting or nuno felting. Learn the art of silk ribbon embroidery. There are 15 projects that also have step-by-step instructions, so this book is ideal from beginners upwards. Make a beautiful felted scarf with a silk ribbon embroidered detail; a throw with an embroidered border; a tablet or hot-water bottle cover, purse, handbag, sampler, spectacle case, wall art, bag, hold-all, bracelet or needle case. I like the projects, they have a contemporary feel. The sparrow on the purse is very special. For each project you see at a glance the materials you need with colour charts, needles, stitches and techniques, process, embroidery and finishing off. An illustrated gallery of stitches used in the projects is given too, clearly showing stitches such as French knot and how to make a rose, for example, with excellent large detailed line drawings in colour. The patterns are at the back of the book. The book is beautifully illustrated throughout. Di van Niekerk is a well-known silk embroiderer and has joined forces with felter Toody Cassidy and used some designs from Chic Fusion in the book. The book was originally published in South Africa. This book is part of the Textile Artist series. Absolutely superb and highly recommended.

* Karen Platt *

Di van Nierkerk has produced many beautiful books for Search Press on the topics of silk ribbon and other embroidery styles. Now she teams up with felter Toody Cassidy to produce this book on how to combine the crafts to make some stunning pieces.

This book is arranged in three sections: felting, stitches and projects. The felting methods covered are wet felting for the backgrounds on which to embroider, and the more detailed needle felting for the smaller details. This is a large format book with plenty of photographs but some of them are a bit small (11/2"(2)) and rather detailed. They are backed up by some good detailed instructions but even a little bigger would have been a lot better. There are three projects in this section (hot water bottle cover, throw and scarf) to give you a feel for making items with the method; a good idea. The middle section covers all the stitches you need and handily starts with list of all thirty-six. The stitches are then shown in large, easy to see drawings containing as many stages as you need to complete them easily. As well as a number of ribbon stitches there are the usual freestyle staples such as chain, blanket and feather but also more unusual ones and how to cover a bead with ribbon. The fourteen projects are also listed with brief descriptions at the start of their section Three of these projects are the felt items made in the first section as well as a bracelet, spectacle case, handbag, clutch bag and more. An imaginative selection, and beautifully adorned with embroidered flowers, some of which look almost real. You can imagine the price these designer items would cost in high end stores, but all can be achieved with some clear written instructions, photographs of varied sizes (some rather small again) and a list of absolutely everything you need. This is laid out clearly in sections with photographs of most of the items including thread and ribbon colors and exactly the right needles. This is a book aimed more at the intermediate needle worker who has some experience with basic sewing and embroidery but a beginning felter will find enough to learn from. Beautiful and inspiring, like all this talented author's books.

-- Rachel A Hyde * Myshelf.com *

The book is beautiful. The instruction is clear. The projects are varied, unique, and intriguing.

If you've never considered felting your own fabric, the book might seem a little overwhelming at first. But read through it - you'll find that some approaches are more manageable than others and that the clear instructions will boost your confidence!

It's a book for any fiber artist, for any silk ribbon enthusiast, and for any needleworker who enjoys learning about other techniques to explore some day!

The instruction throughout the book is so clear and so well illustrated, that you'll be creating your own ribbon masterpieces with ease in no time!

To read the full review please follow the link,


-- Mary Corbet * Mary Corbet's Needle 'n Thread *

The latest title in 'The Textile Artist' series is from experienced teachers and embroiderers Di and Toody who explore the ancient craft of felt making adorned with the delicacy of silk ribbons to produce exquisite, tactile pieces of art. The first chapter delivers comprehensive instructions for making felt followed by a further chapter fully explaining the embroidery using silk ribbon and thread. This is not a 'quick-fix' book - more about an investment of time and a love of beautiful handmade things. Every one of the fourteen projects are presented with highly detailed colour photographs and full step-by-step instructions enabling the maker to achieve enjoyable and rewarding results. This is a lovely book just to look at - to marvel at the fine cob-web like felt and the delicate miniature roses, pansies, fuchsias, and more, crafted from fine silk ribbon, but for anyone wishing to try something a little different and create an item worthy of heirloom status, then this is the book for you!

* East Kent Embroiderers Guild *

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