Frequently Asked Questions

What is tambour?

The word tambour is French for drum. This refers to the shape of the frame used for traditional tambour embroidery in the seventeenth century. Today tambour refers to the method of embroidery that utilizes a small, sharp crochet hook. It is commonly used for professional beading and sequin embroidery.

What is fashion embroidery?

Fashion embroidery is a style of professional embroidery for garments. This is a combination of multiple techniques including tambour work and needle work. Fashion embroidery also encompasses multiple materials for the embroidery. This most commonly include threads, beads, and sequins.

What can I use this on?

You can use these techniques on just about any idea you have! It is commonly used to enhance high-end fashions, costumes for theater or film, bridal gowns, interior products (footstools, chair backs, etc.), or art pieces.

Do I need experience in anything before taking a class?

No, if you are taking level 1. We have found little difference between students with sewing or embroidery experience, and those without any. Interestingly, we have noticed that those with hand crochet experience catch on a little faster.

I don’t want to learn this, but I need some custom embroidery work done for a commission. Do you do that?

We no longer take commissions, but we are happy to refer some friends who can!

Can I pay in cash/ check/ money order?

On the classes page , you have the option to pay by credit card or be billed for the down payment. If you wish to be billed, we will send an invoice through email. You can return a check with the invoice through the mail. Do NOT send cash through the mail. However, we can take the remaining balance in cash on the first day of class.

Can I bring my own supplies?

Each level uses specific supplies (type, size, color, finish). Substitutions do not work. Therefore, no.

Why does it cost so much?

You are paying for both supplies and the lessons.

What exactly does my money pay for?

Please see the list of supplies. Additionally, you are paying approximately $50 a day (for 6 hours each day) for the lessons. That works out to $8.33 per hour split between two teachers. Does it sound like a deal yet?

What is the difference in the hobby frame and the professional frame?

The small hobby frame included with your level 1 price is a scroll lap frame from K’s Creations. This frame can sit on a table, and accommodates small projects up to about 18” in width. The professional frame is handmade and is larger. This frame can sit flat between trestles, chair backs, or level tables. It can accommodate projects up to about 30” in width. **Professional frames are currently unavailable.

Can I just buy the frame for my own use?

Not at this time. We need to find a new woodworker to make the frames. If you have a reliable source, contact us directly.

Do you sell larger frames for bigger projects?

Not at this time, sorry.

Do you sell the trestles to hold the frame?

Not at this time, sorry.

Do you offer student/senior/special discounts?

Essentially, everyone gets a discount with this price! Most other classes around the world for this type of class range from $1000-4000.

Do you teach kids?

Generally, no. This type of work takes a lot of patience and attention to detail.

Can you give me college credit for this class?

Sorry, but the only accreditation for our school is the satisfaction of our students. Most colleges want something more substantial. If you are desperate for college credit, we offer a semester-long class through the University of the Incarnate Word in the Fashion Management Department. This is a spring course during the week (January-May), and you must be enrolled as a student with the University.

Do you teach anywhere beside San Antonio?

Our home base is in San Antonio, but we sometimes teach short workshops through professional organizations and conferences. We will list those on the Calendar as they are scheduled. If you want us to come teach a specific class (like the level I workshop) at a specific location, contact us directly. Essentially, it is do-able, but the price will raise per person according to our travel, room, and board.

I love this! Are there any jobs in this type of work?

Yes. The costume houses of NYC and LA are often looking for experts in this area.

Do you recommend students for commission work once we complete a course?

It takes several years of constant practice to obtain the level of a professional. We only recommend those that we know can and will complete a job to a high level of craftsmanship.

A week is too long for me to take off. Can you teach a shorter version of the beginning course?

We have taught various mini-versions of a beginning level course. However, anything less than a week of time means that you cannot complete a project. Generally, these types of classes only focus on learning the basic tambour chain stitch.

Can you teach the beginning course during other times of the year besides summer or winter?

Sorry, but at this time, no. We teach full time at university. Therefore, the fall and spring semesters are too busy to hold a week-long beginning course.

Where can I buy supplies for my own designs?

Ask and we will send you a list of links.

Can I buy pre-made kits from you?

Not currently. We’ll see if we have a growing request for this. Let us know if you are interested, so we can gage how many folks want something like this!

What’s with the name, Elephant Embellishments?

Lalon has collected elephant figurines her whole life. Currently, she has about 600 elephant collectibles. When thinking of a name for their business in 2005, the sisters were originally going to call it Alexander Embellishments. However, they liked the alliteration of Elephant Embellishments better. Unfortunately, they did not think through the repercussions of constantly having to spell that out…