Embroidery and More
Embroidery and More

Goldwork

Goldwork is a technique using various types of metal threads and wires to create a design. These may be combined with silk embroidery, or may be purely gold thread embroidery. There are many period examples, where the techniques were used on religious vestments, sweet bags, pouches and embroidered bookbindings

This embroidery is a copy of one currently held in the British Library. The original was made for Elizabeth I in 1580, and used as bookbinding for a bible. Mine was made using couched gold twist to outline the design, the purl pearl to fill in the design, over felt padding.

This was done as covers for a book. It is based on a 16th Century book, stitched by Elizabeth I, for her step-mother Catherine Parr. The leftmost version was done in the same style as the original using Elizabethan Braid Stitch. The other one used the same design, but was done with couched Jap and purl pearl to form the knotwork pattern. 

 

Elizabethan Book
This document gives more details about how the above book covers were made. It is written as an entry to and Arts & Sciences competition
Embroidered Book Cover for 20year.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [1.1 MB]

The piece was my interpretation of one of the pieces from the Staffordshire hoard. it's mainly couched purl pearl and gold kid - see the article below for more details

Staffordshire Hoard Inspired Embroidery
A short article on how the embroidery shown above was done
Staffordshire Hoard Inspired Embroidery.[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [685.1 KB]

Another book cover! The lefthand picture is of the front cover. This is mainly couched Jap, with the sun done as bright check chips, surrounded by couched purl pearl. The back cover has a cross-stitch dragon, surrounded by couched Jap.

Insulae Draconis Embroidered Book
More details about producing the book cover shown above. This was written as an Arts & SCiences competition entry
Embroidered Book Cover - Insulae Draconi[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [651.5 KB]

A goldworked Pegasus, using a mix of techniques. The design was from Golden Hinde. I used this to made a padded lid for a keepsake box, given as a wedding present to some friends.

A Welsh Dragon! The goldwork interpretation is my own - couched silk over padding for the body. The wings are couched netting, with smooth purl stitched over string padding for the ribs. The belly is couched Jap over padding. It is edged with couched purl pearl.

Acorns and oak leaves on black velvet, used to cover a memorial folder for a friend. The oak leaves are couched Jap. The acorn cups are bright check chips over padding. The acorns themselves are plate, surrounded by couched purl pearl.

A pouch with a Fleur de Lis emblem. The emblem is couched Jap. The two circles are couched purl pearl. The pouch is based on a pattern from Margot Anderson

These bookmarks are my own design. The end of the bookmark is couched Jap, which is then stitched to a back piece and stuffed to make it 3 dimensional. The tail of the bookmark is a flat Maru-dai braid, where the braid changes to a circular braid to go round the end piece, then back to a flat braid. The two sections of flat briad are then stitched together. Further details on how to make this can be found on my "courses" page.

Autumn Leaves - a modern take on goldwork. This was a kit I purchased (can't rememebr where from), and uses a mix of techniques

A Tudor rose! One of my first goldwork pieces, and my own design. The outer petals are couched rococco thread. The inner petals are smooth purl, edged with couched purl pearl. The centre is a mix of spangles and beads, and couched purl pearl. It was stitched on to red velvet.

This was one of my first pieces of goldwork, and was done as part of a goldwork course taught by a professional embroiderer. It uses several techniques. I used it to cover a notebook. For the spine of the book, I made a maru-dai woven braid. 

Here's a selection of other goldwork projects I have done - some are my own design, some are from examples in books or from kits.

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© Mary Frost