Goldwork

Chasuble with the badges of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon excuted in goldwork

Chasuble with the badges of Henry VIII and Catherine
of Aragon excuted in goldwork, mid 16thC

Background

From the earliest times, gold thread has been a popular form of decorating items with embroidery. It is an obvious way to display wealth and to garner prestige in the community. As such, many great examples of Goldwork were given to the Church in the form of various types of vestments. Many of the surving examples of Goldwork are various forms of ecclesiastical embroidery.

Stitches and Techniques

Because of the way in which gold thread is produced (flattened strips of gold wrapped around a fibre core - usually silk), the most common stitches used when working with this type of thread at various forms of couching work.

This type of application falls into several categories and techniques:

Extant Pieces of Goldwork