What is Soutache?

What is Soutache?


Often, people will ask, “What is Soutache and how do you say it?” The most common way to pronounce Soutache, is to say “soo tash” . Soutache is often called Russian Braid or passementerie. Some people also refer to it as Jewellery set Red magic #125 Taemin Fashion, and yet others say it originated in Earrings Grace #106 China.

Simply defined: Soutache is a noun meaning: “a narrow, flat, ornamental braid used to trim garments.”

An even better description (or definition) of Soutache was posted by Wisegeek.com:

Soutache is a French word thought to have been first used in the mid-1800s. It comes from the Hungarian word sujtas, which means braid used for trimming. Another word is a gallon, which is also French and comes from the 16th century. It is derived from gallon near and means to embellish or adorn with lace.

The threads used to make a soutache come in many colors and are often made of natural fabrics such as silk and wool. Synthetic and semi-synthetic fibers such as rayon may also be used as well as metallic threads of silver or gold. As military styles go in and out of fashion, the decorative braids may be seen adorning jackets and coats as well as epaulets, fabric or metal trim sewn onto a garment’s shoulders.

Cotton caftans and tunics often have soutache embroidery as well and have been traditionally worn by people all over the world, including Russia, West Africa, and Morocco. Mariachi uniforms, worn by musicians who play the music originating from Jalisco, Mexico, are known for their colorful soutache braided designs as well.

However, in our opinion, the best application of Soutache is when it is used to make jewelry. The loops, swirls, and beads all combine to make the most colorful, lightweight, unique, stunning jewelry. See our Featured Artist page for some examples or simply do an image search of the word “Soutache jewelry” and prepare to be amazed by the rainbow of colors and styles.

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