Thursday, April 14, 2016

Faux Bullions the David Way UPDATED

I've updated this article with photographs.

Faux bullions are something David McCaskill accidentally invented. I've never seen it in a book. The concept is easy--but you can only do it with a perle type thread such as DMC's or Anchor's perle cotton, Trebizond silk perle or Rainbow Gallery's Grandeur or Elegance.

Get yourself some perle cotton (doesn't matter what size or color) to practice with on some scrap canvas.

Cut a length of perle cotton about 4-5 inches long and tie a knot in one end. Thread it into a needle, whatever size works with the diameter of the perle cotton you are using to practice with.

Come up in your scrap canvas and remove the needle. Hold the free end in one hand and flick it with your fingers until the strands start to unwind a bit, like perle threads do.

Grab the unwinding strands in one hand, then slide one of them down to the canvas while holding the others steady. It'll bunch itself up into a bullion.

Then you have to rethread the strands into the needle and take them all to the back side to secure them. One strand of perle thread equals one bullion.

This is what you end up with--one faux bullion knot.

It takes some practice to get used to doing it AND not all the bullions are pretty AND you have to cut a new length of thread for each bullion, but it works nicely most of the time. I don't think I'd do it for something with a lot of bullions--the real things are quicker to do once you have some practice, plus faux bullions waste a lot of thread.  But if you only have a few, this is a quick and easy way to create bullions as long as you are happy making them out of a perle-type thread.

Thanks, David!

By the way, Gay Ann Rogers has her bullions booklet available again if you are serious about learning them. 

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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© Copyright October 9, 2015 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.


  1. Very clever...have to give this a try!

    1. David is a wizard with threads. They do all sorts of tricks for him! This works well, and I'm about to use it on my current project.

  2. I absolutely loathe bullions, don't do them well at all, and the darned things are often pretty useful. I'm going to try David's happy accident net time I need bullions.

    1. Good! Practice a few times first and you'll get the hang of it.

  3. Are there any pictures to illustrate this. I'm a visual learner and this sounds like it would make a great beard for a piece I've got.

    1. Sorry, there are no pictures. This has never been published online except here and the ANG email list years ago. (David gave me permission to teach this to anyone who wandered by.) However, I'm about to use this on my current piece so I'll take photos and add them here. However, that will take a bit, so please be patient.

    2. Ok, M. Here are your photos. They are pretty quick and dirty but I don't have a lot of spare time in my schedule.