Tudor and Stuart Goldwork – Month Five Stitches
As I’ve mentioned, while I continue to persevere with the silkwork (there is a limit to how long I can stitch such fine work, even with the magnifier), I’m practising the goldwork stitches on a separate cloth. I don’t want the silk catching on metal threads while I’m working it, so the best way to avoid the problem is to do no metal thread work until the silk is finished. However, I couldn’t bring myself to ignore all the interesting stitches we are promised – hence the practice cloth.
I can see potential to use the Reverse Chain with Buttonhole Edging in the Amarna panels, since it creates a very complex impression when seen at real size, while not being all that difficult to stitch. It looks a lot like a braid or a filagree, so might be used to represent the necklaces that the Pharaoh gave to favoured courtiers at the Window of Appearances.
Guilloche stitch was an entirely different matter. It didn’t seem to matter what I tried, I couldn’t keep the crossing places of the final stage neatly under the long straight stitches, and the loops wouldn’t stay neat. In fact I even had a go in cotton threads, as you can see below.
The yellow is a mercerised cotton, while the orange is a fairly heavy pearl cotton. The Guilloche stitch seemed to work better in the heavy pearl cotton, which makes me wonder whether it is simply a matter of scale. The bulk of the pearl cotton makes the stitch so much more compact, whereas the gold thread on the practice cloth is much too fine for the spacing of the stitches. Note that the Reverse Chain with Buttonhole Edging looks much more braid-like with the finer, mercerised thread, where the pearl cotton almost looks like a different stitch. All of these stitches should also be easier when I’m working on the real piece which is resting on a floor frame. I’ll be able to use both hands to control the thread if necessary!