Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Goldwork On Blue


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I’m a great fan of goldwork, especially the older stuff found on clothing, church vestments, and other museum pieces. I’m always looking for images – photos, paintings, etc. – of such work. I came across this one on wikipedia, of all places, and since their copyright agreement allows the reproduction of it, I thought I would share it with everyone, if you haven’t seen it.

The piece is stunning. I’m not sure what I like best about it – the arrangement of the design, the fact that it’s on blue, the lattice work in that central motif, with the little jewels – or the contrast formed by the white lace hanging in the upper right. I suspect that this is a robe on a statue of Mary in some church somewhere. On wikipedia it says something about St. Laurentius, and in the name of the photo included “mantle” and “olv.” The Latin at the base of the central motif translates to “as a lily among thorns.”

Whatever the case may be, the piece is gorgeous. I’ve left the full-sized image, so you can click on the photo and see it much larger. Enjoy!!



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(13) Comments

  1. What is the best method for emboidering with metal threads on velvet? I have heard that the pile is difficult to work on.

  2. Hi, Christiana –

    You should put something over the velvet – such as a fine tear-away stabilizer, or (as they did in the past) a kind of silk gauze, that can be removed thread by thread after stitching. You need something to hold the threads up out of the pile while you stitch. Often, a design would be worked first on linen, and then attached to the velvet background. So it just depends on how you want to go about it. I think a light-weight tear away stabilizer would work, as long as you’re really careful when removing it. You wouldn’t want to crack any purls or anything….

    Experiment, and let me know what happens!!!

  3. Did that drop directly from heaven?? astonishing. If it’s this beautiful on-line I can’t imagine it in person. (Wonder what that thing weighs…)

  4. This certainly is impressive. I’ve done some emroidery, but mostly beadwork inthe past… I can’t even imagine trying to complete something like that.

    1. Thanks, Susan. It’s beautiful, isn’t it? I’d love to see this statue in person…. !

      Hope all’s well Down Under and in the vestment-making world! 🙂

    1. Hi, Holly – goldwork is real metal thread embroidery. The threads are made out of real metals (a percentage of gold plus alloy) and used to embellish fabric. There are all different types of goldwork threads. You can see a good example in the header on my home page, when the image changes to “tips and techniques”…. and you can look through the categories here on the website (right hand column, towards the bottom, where it says “categories”) and click on goldwork and see some of the different articles I’ve done on it. Hope that helps! ~MC

  5. This looks awfully similar to Hungarian court gown at the 1867 coronation ceremony (of Franz Joseph and Elizabeth aka. Sisi) by Majláth György duchess. BTW: the lace is still used as a decorative element on replicas as an apron.
    http://www.jcu.edu/language/hunghemu/hunghe7j.htm (move about half way down)

    Ferenczi Ida or Sisi’s lady-in-waiting court gown: http://www.free-photos.biz/photographs/consumer_products/clothes/238986_ferenczy_ida.php

    Sisi’s coronation gown: http://www.flickr.com/photos/10504146@N02/5562684343/

    Also, another embroidery VERY intricate and elaborate:


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