Hanutel as a type of needlework

Ganutel is the art of making flowers

From fine spiral wire and silk thread. In addition to the thread, beads, beads and pearls can be used. This art came to us from the Maltese monasteries, which are located on the islands in the Mediterranean Sea.

The word “ganutel” itself comes from the Italian Canutiglia, which means “thin spiral thread.” By the way, the word gimp comes from the same Italian word, which means a thin gold or silver thread for embroidery.

Ganutel is an old Maltese needlework that was known back in the 17th and 18th centuries. At that time in Europe they learned how to make lush flowers, bouquets and openwork compositions from threads and very thin gilded or silver wire, which were twisted into small springs and used for bulk embroidery.

But back in the 16th century, such a spiral wire of gold or silver was called “Canutiglia” or in Spanish “Canutillo”. The name of the wire gave the name to the modern technique of ganutel (ganitel).

Technique Hanutel

In the ganutel technique, thin wire springs either form a frame of petals, which is then filled with thread weave, or the thin wire itself is used for weaving. To do this, it is twisted with a silk thread to get a metal thread.

After the Second World War, the art of dumbbell was almost forgotten. In 1970, the minds of craftswomen were occupied by floristic compositions from dried flowers.

Silk flowers were recognized as bad taste, old-fashioned trifle and forgotten about them almost everywhere.

Flowers in the ganutel technique have survived only in church use, since dry flowers were not suitable for church decorations at all. So, it was the church that preserved this fine art – ganutel.

But in the late 1990s, there was a sudden surge of interest in needlework in this technique. Since then, interest in wire flowers among needlewomen around the world has not waned.

Beautiful, elegant compositions are created that are not inferior in beauty to the works of old craftswomen.

It is thanks to the work of modest nuns from the island of Malta that the technique has been preserved and has come down to our days.

It is their immortal flower compositions that adorn Catholic churches, statues of saints on the islands. Even the altar of the papal chapel in the Vatican is decorated with flowers using the ganutel technique. Yes, and in everyday life, in everyday life there is a frequent use of this technique.

All that is needed to create flowers is a wire from which wire springs and other elements of a flower will be made, silk threads of different colors, beads, beads.

The materials, as you can see, are simple. And the technique itself is not complicated and is accessible even to not the most experienced needlewomen. It is rather painstaking, requiring perseverance, patience, accuracy and time from the craftswoman.

What is required for work

There are two ways to make flowers using the ganutel technique:

1. Winding threads on a spiral wire frame

2. Lowering with arcs from twisted metal thread (a thin wire is twisted with a colored thread; from the metal thread obtained by the French beading technique – by lowering with arcs – air petals are formed)

In order to make metal thread, the wire that is sold in needlework stores in spools will not work for you. It does not meet the technical specifications and does not have the required thickness.

Therefore, needlewomen go the other way, acquiring a wire with a cross section of 0.2 millimeters in two additions at industrial bases and warehouses of electrical enterprises (such wire is used there for winding and repairing electric motors and transformers).

When purchasing wire, pay attention to the color. It is better to take a lighter wire, like bronze or gold, fortunately, there is a choice. This requirement is connected, rather, with the aesthetic side of the process: such a wire looks more delicate and elegant.

If possible, you can do it even easier by disassembling the old transformer or electric motor. But there, more likely, there will be a wire “under copper”, so that the metal thread will turn out only in golden hues.

For silver petals, in the same warehouses, you will have to look for nickel, tin or aluminum wire. That’s all for wire for metal thread.

For a variety of curls, stamens, winding pedicels and flower petioles, you will need copper wire, 0.31 mm can be, but 0.2 mm is better, which you will use in two or three additions. For the frames of the petals themselves, a copper wire of 0.5 millimeters in cross section is required.

For metal threads, oddly enough, you will also need threads. They must be shiny, preferably silk or similar in structure.

For example, viscose or metallic, suitable in thickness to a silk thread. Muline is not suitable, as it does not have the necessary shine. You can try to adapt other soft and shiny threads, carefully study the shelves of needlework stores.