Saturday, May 11, 2013


Like most people playing with gelli print making I seem to have accumulated lots of printed paper. Quite a few years ago I went to a fascinating talk by Ruth Smith, the author of 'Miao Embroidery from South West China' and had the opportunity to see a Dong Thread booklet which she had brought back from China. This encouraged me to buy her pamphlet about how to make a replica of one of these booklets. When I looked at the instructions I sort of lost all interest in trying to have a go and in fact forgot all about it until I found a little folded experiment I had made when I first got the booklet. Needless to say it took me some time to find the actual pamphlet. I tried the basic fold with a number of papers, the paste papers I tried do not fold well but I suddenly had the idea of using some of the prints which I have about.

 I didn’t try the full instructions but used the two basic ‘pockets’ to make a card.

Unfortunately I cannot track down a link to Ruth Smiths instructions; it looks as if she is giving regular workshops and you can Google lots of images of people’s attempts.

 The two books she has written seem to be out of print. Here is a link to images of the actual Chinese Thread Booklets. They are beautiful items, as is the amazing work of the Miao; lots of intricate folding and polished indigo, so intricate that to me it seemed impossible to work out how it was done.I was lucky enough to see an exhibition of their work in Farnham some years ago. Skills which have been passed down over generations.


  1. I love the colours of the gelli print pages - and the circles - a kindred spirit?

  2. After seeing all the really interesting printing going on with Gelli plates, I just have to have a go. I must ask my local Scrap booking shop to order them in.
    Love that folding, and great printing.

  3. Anonymous8:39 PM

    What an amazing folded booklet! I'd love to have a go at someting like that!

  4. A really good result. I have made three of the thread booklets from Ruth's instructions, using Evolon. Two have been gifted but I use mine all the time.

    1. I have not used Evolon before, which weight did you use? 98gsm or 168 gsm?

  5. Not seen these booklets before, what a great idea


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