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 Inspiration


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Goldwork has been much on my mind lately, as we continue to work our way through the lettering on this major goldwork project that’s been underway here at Needle ‘n Thread since last summer.

Our time is running out. April is coming. And yet, we can’t seem to find more time! So we’re a little under the proverbial gun here, and I’m starting to feel a bit sweaty-in-the-palms about it.

I’ve been on the hunt for fringe that will finish off the edge of the cloth the letters are going on. And while searching for the fringe, I took a good look at the blog of Sebastián Marchante Gambero, a goldwork embroidery workshop in Spain which features gorgeous ecclesiastical goldwork.

Sebastian Marchante-Gambero-goldwork-embroidery

If you have a chance to browse through the Gambero workshop blog, you will see some really incredible goldwork – lavish and exquisitely executed. You can click on many of the photos and see the work up close.

It’s a great source for inspiration when designing or just daydreaming about goldwork projects!

Sebastian Marchante-Gambero-goldwork-embroidery

I knew I would find some examples of fringe on the workshop’s blog, and I did. Most of it is too elaborate – or the wrong material – for what we’re doing, but it gave me ideas about fringes.

Bullion fringe is often used on ecclesiastical goods. It’s just what it sounds like – fringe made out of bullion, or what we also call bright check purl and the like. So, it’s made out of the wire “threads” of goldwork. I like bullion fringe in certain applications, but it’s a bit much for what we’re doing.

Sebastian Marchante-Gambero-goldwork-embroidery

It’s hard not to be inspired by all the glorious embroidery and finishes on this website!

Yes, it’s elaborate! And while it may not be to everyone’s taste, it certainly reflects an incredibly high quality of work and materials. It is sumptuous and beautiful!

If you can take the time to scroll through the website and see some of these exquisite pieces, you’ll know what I mean. And if you like to toy with design ideas, or to research different ideas in goldwork techniques, or you just like to revel in some downright beautiful embroidery worked by hand, it’s definitely worth the browse!

I’m still on the hunt for the ideal fringe. Luckily, Carrie Roberts at Ecclesiastical Sewing is an excellent resource. She’s got some lovely options, so we (Anna, me, the folks in charge of the commission) are working through samples to see what works. I’ll share more on that process down the road.

And now, the week’s work unfolds! It promises to be a busy one!

Hope your week is off to a wonderful start!


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(3) Comments

  1. I went to the Sebastian website. Consider me gobsmacked! If it were ever possible for me I would try to travel to those locations to see the pieces up close.

  2. Dear Mary

    Sebastián Marchante Gambero goldwork above is absoloutely beautiful I wish I could aspire to the same precision, beautiful work.
    I do hope you manage to buy the fringe material that you are looking for. Thank you for sharing with us Sebastián Marchante Gambero goldwork and for reviewing the work.

    Regards Anita Simmance

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