Soutache by Donatella Ciotti
I can’t remember when I first saw Soutache used with beads, but the idea has always fascinated me. I think it has taken too long for this technique to appear in books. For a long while, it was almost impossible to find a book about Soutache. Now, this year, several have come along at once!
Who is this book for?
Well, as a complete beginner, I would say that Donatella’s book is perfect. It has a really comprehensive chapter on the materials.
Then, there are over 30 pages of different techniques. So, that’s loads of information and loads to learn before you even start on a project.
I also liked the little touches. So, you get a brief introduction to the history of this craft. It’s always fascinating to tap into the past and link with generations that have been following these crafts for centuries.
If you already have some experience, I think you can dive straight in to the projects in here. I will come on to talk more about those later. For now, I just want to say that I found the instructions really easy to follow. The book has beautifully clear photos, so you can see what you are trying to do.
Lastly, the gallery of inspiration at the end is beautiful. I think if you are more advanced, this is a book that you can use to perfect your skills, then take them further with this inspiration.
The Soutache Projects
This book gives you a real mix of projects to try. There are a lot of bracelets. Some of these mix in beads, while some just use the Soutache braid alone.
I was particularly taken by the hair combs. I think these designs look achievable as a starting point and they are beautiful. So, that’s where I’m going to be diving in.
You also get rings, brooches, hat pins, headbands, earrings and a tantalising project that uses rubber too.
I know a lot of bead shops have been carrying Soutache materials for a while. So, it’s great to have a book that teaches you how to use them. If you can manage to squeeze in time for another craft, or you want to take your beading in a new direction, I thoroughly recommend giving Donatella’s book a try.