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Elizabethan Goldwork

  • Courtyard by Marriott Billerica, MA (map)

Merrimack Valley Chapter EGA

Technique: Goldwork from Elizabethan Elements & Techniques

Proficiency Level: Intermediate

Class Description:

Using motifs garnered from numerous sources that I have researched, the students will develop their own designs and stitch patterns to complete a stitch diagram.  The students will be come familiar with the traditional metal embroidery of the 16th century and how they can apply that to the present day.


Students have options of working the sampler in class, pursuing their own design, or work from the teaching sample to become familiar with the design characteristics and materials of Elizabethan England focusing on goldwork. For dimensional effects we will be using padding and raised metal techniques. Detached elements, goldwork, and surface embroidery stitches are also explored.


Silk and Metal thread techniques taught include:  framing up backing fabric with foundation fabric; design transfer; padding techniques, couching: braids, purl purl, passing thread; attaching: purl purl, paillettes, pearls.  Surface embroidery stitches: plaited braid, ceylon stitch, cable plait, detached buttonhole, and woven spider stitch.

Many choices are available to the student:

·       Design development

·       Stitch combinations and progressions

·       Working their own original design

·       Working the sampler on linen

·       Which threads and how much they need for their design