That’s where some good old fashioned needle and thread comes in handy. In fact, it’s a food styling staple that’s used much more than you might expect.
Let’s face it. You can blow torch and throw Kitchen Bouquet on that faux-roasted chicken all day long, but there will always be loose bits of skin to work around. It’s possible to cut away any problematic pieces. However, there’s always the risk of taking too much away, ruining the whole bird.
Food styling with needle and thread, on the other hand, provides the perfect tuck. And, if a stitch goes wrong, a simple snip of the thread will quickly undo any sutures.
There’s no need to limit yourself to poultry. Keep in mind that the best stylists will go to any lengths to get their shot looking just right. Reader’s Digest features an anecdote in which one stylist actually sews oranges onto a barren tree!
But, before you get to stitching together your next food photography subject, it’s important to make sure that you’ve got the best tools possible for the job. While sewing by needle and thread is effective, the options available may surprise those that have never had to mend a seam.
Firstly, it’s important to opt for a thicker needle over a fine one. The thinner and more delicate the needle, the better the chance that it will break when food styling with needle and thread. And no one wants to fish a broken needle out of a roast.
American needles come in sizes ranging from 8 to 20, with higher numbers indicating thicker, heavier needles. In addition to considering length and circumference, picking out a needle with a larger eye will make threading much easier.
Speaking of which, it’s important to use multi-ply thread that’s at least somewhat durable. Light weight threads are at serious risk of breaking apart, and most stylists would like to avoid an afternoon spent unsuccessfully trying to attach one object to another.
Even if you’re not a professional seamstress, needle and thread can seriously bring a food photo shoot together. Try out this simple solution the next time you hit a snag on set!