[HNW] couching question

Laren laren at webcon.net.au
Wed Apr 13 15:52:56 PDT 2005

At 12:03 AM 14/04/2005, you wrote:
>Ok.  I'm fixing to try my hand at couching metallic thread.  I used the 
>silver cord to stitch with -- but what should I use to couch with?  I'd like
>to try both underside and topside couching.


If you are doing something like Or Nue, then the filament silk mentioned by 
others would be the way to go.

If you are doing surface couching, I would go with a silk sewing thread. 
The one I use is YLI, it comes on a spool and is the same thickness (maybe 
a little thinner) than normal cotton sewing thread (make sure you get the 
sewing thread, not the floss). I usually use yellow, cause I am couching 
gold, but I'm sure white would work fine if you are couching silver thread.

As far as working with gold thread, the best thing to approximate most 
period surface couching is what is called Imitation Japanese Gold thread. 
This is made in a similar way to the silk core, gold wrapped thread of 
period. Kreinik put this out in various thicknesses. There are many other 
types of gold thread as well. The highest gold content that is commercially 
available is the 2% Gilt.

The best place to buy and find gold thread is Berlin Embroidery based in 
Canada - http://www.berlinembroidery.com/

Tanya specialises in goldwork and crewel embroidery supplies. She used to 
have this great sample pack you could get for about $15 that has small 
samples of all the gold threads she can supply. Not sure if she still does 
those though. But not only does her site sell all the stuff you need, but 
she has lots of info about what each thread is used for etc.

Goldwork supplies can be found here.


As far as underside couching goes, I'm not to sure. This requires a thinner 
thread, but I haven't done enough research or practice to work out which 
would be the most suitable, I really need to do that.


PS, to another poster, yes, silk was popular, but there are many period 
embroideries done in wool (favoured in the north of Europe) and linen 
(especially German states - check out my blog, you might need to scroll a 

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