[HNW] Re: H-needlework Digest, Vol 23, Issue 11

butler peter dreamer81465 at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 13 10:30:27 PDT 2005

I have tried using the balger thread (Kruneik) as well and it just doesn't work properly. What Gabreil said is correct to the best of my knowledge. They not only used pulled gold (gold pulled out into threads) but thye also used wrapped gold. The porblem is that finding gold thread today is nearly impossible and the one or two places that I have actually found something close it stupidly expensive. 
I myself like Opus Anglicanum and I am still trying to gather the proper supplies. I figure that if I do it once in my life with all of the proper supplies, then I will live in bliss and just pretend that the balger is proper. (At least I can lie to myself)
In OA they used silk to couch with. Anything that was not gold (ie metal because they also used silver and other metals) was silk. That is a good rule of thumb when you are trying to reacreate period embroideries.
(note there are exceptions like the Bayeux Tapestry which is done in wool)

Message: 2
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2005 10:03:18 -0400
From: Susan Farmer 
Subject: [HNW] couching question
To: h-needlework at ansteorra.org
Message-ID: <4267ED0E at webmail.utk.edu>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="ISO-8859-1"

Ok. I'm fixing to try my hand at couching metallic thread. I used the balger 
silver cord to stitch with -- but what should I use to couch with? I'd like 
to try both underside and topside couching.


Susan Farmer
sfarmer at goldsword.com
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of Tennessee

Message: 4
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2005 10:54:29 EDT
From: Allison263 at aol.com
Subject: Re: [HNW] couching question
To: h-needlework at ansteorra.org
Message-ID: <96.254fe2b5.2f8e8ca5 at aol.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"

In a message dated 4/13/05 10:03:45 AM, sfarmer at utk.edu writes:

<< but what should I use to couch with? I'd like 

to try both underside and topside couching. >>

I'm not familiar with the type of gold you mentioned you're using. You want 
something that is a metal wrapped around some kind of core. In the middle 
ages/reaniassance, gold was beaten into thin sheets, cut into strips, and wrapped 
around a core (silk, animal hair, cotton, linen). The gold should be stiff 
enough to work with but (in the case of underside couching) supple enough to go 
through the fabric.

I'd recommend silk thread as your couching thread. If you're creating designs 
with the couching stitches, any commercial silk should be fine. You'll have 
better luck with a filament silk (nontwisted) but a finely twisted 2 ply should 
also work OK. 

If you're simply going to couch the gold down, I like to use silk sewing 
thread. When you do underside couching, be sure that the ground fabric is woven 
loosely enough so that the gold will easily "pop" beneath the surface; if it's 
too thick or too tightly woven you'll be fighting it all the way.

Good luck!


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End of H-needlework Digest, Vol 23, Issue 11

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