Tassels, little bunches of loose yarn bound at one end and hanging free at the other — are the usually long, decorative bits that hang off furnishings and seem to serve no other purpose than to make things look pretty. However, that is their purpose — to make the everyday things look prettier.
Tassels are generally embellishments: adding colour and style to various furnishings (such as trimmings for cushion-covers, curtain tie-backs and lampshades); serving as bookmarks; hanging off a graduation cap; or even adorning evening bags and gifts.
The art of tassel-making dates back to the 17th Century where it became an art form known as passementerie in France.
A basic tassel is a fairly simple thing to make and should only take about 15 minutes or less.
How Do I Make One of These Dangly Things?
Yarn - Almost any type of yarn can be used depending on the texture and feel desired in the final product. Thicker yarns such as chenille and raffia will give the tassel a chunkier feel, whereas thin yarns such as rayon and stranded cotton will lend a more elegant touch. Colours can be mixed and matched according to taste, though metallic thread tends to give the tassel a more lavish look.
Cardboard - This should be reasonably stiff so that it will not warp when the yarn is wound around it.
a) Cut the width of the cardboard to the height you would like the tassel to be.
b) Lay a short piece of yarn along the length of the cardboard.
c) Wind the rest of the yarn around the width of the cardboard until you have achieved the desired thickness
of your tassel.
d) Tie the short yarn tightly so that one end of the tassel is gathered tightly.
e) Slip the scissors between the yarn and the cardboard and cut the untied side of the yarn.
f) Bind the neck of the tassel with another piece of yarn. Secure this tightly by knotting it. Use the tapestry
needle to conceal the ends of this thread within the body of the tassel.
g) Finally, trim the ends of the tassel to achieve a neat and professional-looking tassel.
Why Is This Entry Only about Basic Tassels?
More complex tassels can be made but they require skill, instruction and patience. Decoration can be added to the head of the tassel to make it more elaborate, and bigger, bulkier tassels can be made by grouping smaller tassels together.