The Art Of Tambour Beading

Bo & Luca’s creative director, shannon pittman, first fell in love with the artistry of hand embroidery when travelling to india in her early 20’s. There shannon witnessed first hand the rich culture and intricate artisanal work the country has to offer. Woven into the fabric of each Bo & Luca piece is the magic of their traditional artisan techniques and craftsmanship.

Bo & Luca’s pieces are hand beaded at our quiet atelier in india, where each bead is hand placed on the finest silk by local master craftsmen over a three-month period. Traditional artisans skills, textile traditions and most importantly the art of tambour are all prominent factors in creating the label’s signature luxurious aesthetic.

So what exactly makes tambour different to other embroidery techniques?

Unlike conventional embroidery, tambour does not require a needle. Instead, tambour is based on the principle of applying beads to fabric using a specialised hook. The fabric that will be beaded is stretched out and the process begins by collecting the thread from underneath the frame, pulling the thread through the fabric and then taking the hook back down into the fabric, leaving a chain stitch on the top and the beads secured on the reverse. A challenging aspect with tambour is that you can not really see the artwork while you are working on it unless the material is particularly transparent. The hook is quite long in itself and almost closed to help it to pass freely through the fabric without snagging it.

The skills and passion, handed down from generation to generation, results in the creation of exquisite heirloom gowns. Each individual piece is carefully put together over many months as a labour of love for the gown and the traditions to come.

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