Shisha means glass or mirror in Hindi and refer to thin, tiny glass mirrors used to embellish clothing, accessories and housegold items. Shisha mirrors should not be confused with paillettes, which are actually sequins and have small holes in them for stitching.
Shisha mirrors (above left), can be used to jazz up virtually any type of needlework project – from embroidery to quilting – and it’s easier to stitch than you may have thought!
The mirrors are simply stitched in place with straight stitches overlapping the edges of the mirror, followed by a basic buttonhole stitch around the perimeter. The mirrors can be stitched in place (see the diagram below) with your favorite solid or variegated DMC embroidery threads, such as DMC Pearl Cotton or 6-strand embroidery floss.
Marjo, a tallented needle artist from Portugal, features the gorgeous shisha brooch (top, right) on her bilingual Erratic Needle blog site. Her brooch is made from felt, with the shisha mirror held in place with decorative stitches. Rows of decorative stitching surrounds the mirror, and the edges are trimmed with beads.
A smaller project like Marjo’s is a great place to start, and you can make one to match every outfit! After all, jewelry pieces are like shoes – you can never have too many!
The stitch used to secure sisha mirrors to the fabric can also be used to secure seashells, small photographs, stone cabochons, metal coins, small objects and other embellishments for a mixed-media masterpiece!