August 11, 2015

Stitchy Snippets - Bordado Ibicenco

Waves of heat bathed me as I took my first steps onto the Spanish island of Ibiza. In the height of summer Ibiza's landscape is rich with flora and fauna; pine forests coat the hillsides, fig, olive, citrus and almond trees are heavy with fruit and whitewashed homes are beautifully edged with cacti, aloe and hibiscus. How does this relate to embroidery I hear you ask. After gradually slowing down to the easy pace of the island, where most things can wait until mañana, I discovered the popular fashion appreciated by foreigners and locals alike called Moda Adlib. The clothes are commonly constructed from natural, white fabrics adorned with whitework embroidery, lace, crochet and applique. It is exhilarating to see that the artisan elements are central to the fashion style and are sought after by many.
Moda Adlib dates back to the Seventies when many hippies flocked to Ibiza, creating a refuge for the hippie movement. Yugoslavian princess Smilja Mihailovitch created Adlib in 1971 which was influenced by the hippie style and traditional Pityusic clothing of the Balearic islands of Ibiza. Despite changing fashions Adlib continues to attract people of all ages and a fashion show is held on the island each summer. In Haute Couture the Adlib style is periodically explored.
Valentino - Spring/Summer 2015
Moda Adlib's ethos is 'Dress however you want but elegantly'. The exquisite embroidery and lace work reflects this ideology. Although the majority of work today is predominantly made with a machine, traditionally the lace and embroidery would have been produced by hand.
Fundamentally the designs incorporate many elements of whitework embroidery. On this garment, broderie anglaise is applied in the form of cutwork. To apply this technique parts of the fabric are cut away and the edges are closed with a button hole stitch to create this effect.
Lace is prominent, usually machine lace is stitched or appliquéd onto the garment. However instead of using machine lace, needle lace or drawn thread work could be incorporated to create detail. Typically floral motifs are sewn in satin stitch and chain stitch is often used to define larger designs.
These techniques can be used as an effective way to customise and embellish otherwise plain garments and accessories. They also prove a delightful decoration for children's clothing. 'Bordado Ibicenco' or Ibizan embroidery offers a great starting point for experimentation, perhaps by using bold colours, different weight fabrics and types of thread. Although mainly worn in Summer, this style could easily be adapted for an autumnal wardrobe.

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