Saturday, 10 March 2012

Goldwork Couching

So, I've been playing around with this technique called 'Or nue' a lot lately, where goldwork threads are laid down and detailing added by the arrangement of couching stitches worked over the top.
Pretty much the best work I've ever see in this technique is done by Beryl Dean, who studied the Apprenticeship at RSN years ago (if anyone went to the 2011 Knitting and Stitching Show, there were some utterly fabulous examples of her work there.)

But back to me and my tired eyes..... these following pictures were really just personal experimentation with keeping my stitches even, how intricate I could make the lettering, and how small different fonts could go without losing the detail: (yes, I work pretty tiny)
Gold: 4cm square
Red / black: 3cm square
Plain black: 2.5cm square

And then I just couldn't leave the frame alone.....
7cm across, this is an advert for a font I stumbled across online but would make an awesome business card (it's the right size in real life)

6.5x 2.5cm -- the text came from a flyer I had lying around that read 'South Coast Tattoo'. I didn't think it was possible to get this small detail, but hey, it seemed to go okay. The way to do it is complete each horizontal line at a time, working along with a needle threaded up in each of red and black, and completing all the stitches in that row. Then you move up or down one, lay another silver string across, and carry on putting the couching stitches in place. It's got much more sparkle than this and really catches the light - you could use any couching thread you like, I guess, but this is a neat way of incorporating metallics in without having to thread them up in your needle (which is a pain at the best of times.)


  1. Absolutely fabulous work! I especially like the Skin Art Tattoo, that has flair. I wish you were on WordPress too, I have trouble commenting on blogger. I gave you a mention and a link in my latest post, your work deserves a wide audience.


    Thanks feeling stitchy for putting this up!

  3. These are fabulous! I love them! Since I am in the US where I don't know of anywhere that one an study such things, can you offer any tips on books or tutorials for this technique? I don't think I'll be heading to Britain anytime soon. :-( Thank you! Awesome work!! Please send any suggestioned reading to Thanks again.