Fireplace mantel lambrequins, in Victorian times, could be either very elaborate, very simple, or anywhere in between. They could be made to cover only the mantel shelf itself or to cover the entire fireplace front - when no fire was burning, of course! No matter what material the lambrequins were made of, they were always made with extreme care. They were an excellent decorative accessory that showed off the artistic skills of the women of the house. Care was taken to assure that each stitch was correct. The Fireplace mantel often was (and still is) the first object to draw the attention of a person entering the room. If the fireplace mantel lambrequin was embroidered sloppily, the eye would immediately pick up on the imperfections and the embroiderer's time and effort would have been wasted.
The rich and handsome fireplace mantel lambrequin, shown here, (like almost all fireplace mantel lambrequins), may be used, not only for the mantel, but for a window or a shelf, as well. In the making of the fringe, odds and ends of zephyr worsteds, embroidery silks, flosses, crewels, etc., may be utilized; but the one variety of material must be used throughout, although it may be in many colors or shades of one color. Very elegant fringes may be made by commencing with the lightest shade of the elected color and grading the rows to the very darkest. For instance, taking the gold shades, begin with white and shade down to the deepest orange; for the red shades, begin with the lightest pink and shade down to the deepest crimson; in blue, purple, green and gray the same method of shading may be pursued.
Shading from light to dark is more effective than from dark to light, but either method may be followed. If the fringe fabric has to be purchased, it will probably be well to know that in shading from light to dark, the second shade will need to be double the amount of the first, the third three times that of the first, the fourth four times that of the first amount, and so on. Brass rings of any preferred size may be used, but they should all be alike.
Small rings may be covered with embroidery silks or flosses, but for large rings this would be a very expensive covering, so crewels, zephyrs, worsteds, Saxony yarns, chenilles or any of the thick embroidery goods may be used.
For brackets or small fireplace mantel lambrequins the small rings are prettiest. Rings may be made of ordinary thick wire, if the rings cannot be readily purchased; but care should be taken to have them perfect in shape, otherwise they will not look well.
The tassels may be made at home, but, as they are not expensive, they are generally purchased.
Fireplace mantel lambrequins can be simply made, as shown below. This labrequin does not have layers upon layers of fabrics with a multitude of elaborate adornment. It is adorned with simple covered rings, which anyone can make, arranged in a decorative manner.
You can download the instructions (in .pdf form) for this lambrequin here: Fireplace Mantel Lambrequin Instructions
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If you are interested in more fireplace mantel lambrequins, check back often. More illustrations and directions will be available soon!
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