Supporting Act: Foundations for Large Jewelry PiecesTue, September 28, 2010 - 12:01 AM
Have you ever worn a large piece of jewelry and had it leave a mark or even a rash on your skin? Have you worn a piece that discolored your skin? Have you ever ruined a piece of costume jewelry because of sweat or the acidity of your skin? Have you had large pieces slip and slide or fold over on itself while you move or dance? Costume jewelry is not made with silver or gold, so it tends to wear through its coatings and platings. This can lead to metal reactions on your skin and the surface of your jewelry being ruined.
The answer to these problems lies in lining the piece with a supportive backing. The backing will keep a large portion of the piece from touching your skin, thus helping to protect you and your piece of jewelry. It will also help keep the piece from folding over on itself and slipping so much. Just as you would not think of dancing without providing support for your body, often times our jewelry needs support, too. One way to provide this support is to stitch a protective layer of felt or other fabric (cotton, satin, velvet, etc.)underneath the piece of jewelry.
This is an excellent illustration of a necklace that has had supporting fabric stitched to the back. It is missing the support on the one epaulette. Of course, care must be taken to stitch the fabric so that it will not be seen as you are wearing the piece. This is done by carefully cutting the fabric to shape, folding the edges under (not necessary if the fabric will not fray), and whip-stitching it carefully to the piece, so as to minimize the visibility of the threads. Using gray thread for a silver piece helps in hiding the threads. Be careful of using “invisible” thread and metallic thread, as they can poke and be uncomfortable. If your lining ever becomes very dirty or somehow gets out of shape, simply redo the backing. These steps should prolong the life and the comfort of your large costume jewelry pieces.
My thanks to silvrbel, a vendor on ebay who generously let me use this photograph of a rhinestone necklace that she sold.
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