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Stitching with Light – Metal Thread Embroidery

January 6, 2011

Purls, twists, couched gold threads, gilded kid leather, and beads.

How this thread feels in your hand, enhances the experience of stitching. Just running your fingers over a length of metal thread gives one a unique tactile experience – there is nothing quite like it. Metal Thread is simply a silk or paper core that is wound over with a strip of gold – either real or imitation. When it is couched to the fabric in rows to create an image or pattern, it radiates the most impressive sheen which glints at you in whatever direction the light source comes from. The fact that these threads were named in Tudor inventories tells us that they have been used for centuries. Metal threads were used in many countries well before this date. It feels miraculous to be working techniques that were used so many hundreds of years ago and to continue to find contemporary ways to give them a new glow of excitement. At our center before Christmas, a group of students from Diploma Studies in Experimental Stitch and Multi-Media, Level Four, enjoyed a five-day session of stitching with gold threads.

At left, Cathy Jo Hall works couching with gold threads. At right, Marcia eases the difficulty of the work by using an embroidery frame on a floor stand.

Couching hand-dyed threads with gold.

This Kachina mask, by Penny Peters, is worked in a special gold work technique called Or Nué.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jill Taylor permalink
    January 6, 2011 11:57 pm

    Love it. Just can’t wait to be let loose on the gold threads! Jill

  2. January 8, 2011 10:48 am

    That first image makes me want to get my stash of gold threads out and have a go now…..

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