Goldwork Initials: Some Examples

Embroidered monograms needn’t be all silk-shaded initials on shirt collars and pyjama pockets. They can be much bigger and much more flamboyant: in fact, I don’t suppose these are monograms as such – more of large, embroidered logos.

What the following examples have in common is that they all use one particular goldwork technique: cutting a long metal coil, or ‘purl’, into smaller pieces which are then carefully laid down like beads. These pieces, often worked over padding, form the ‘stitches’. It is absolutely imperative to cut them to the correct length: too short and the piece won’t cover the background, too long and the piece will pucker and dent. The final stitches, arranged alongside each other, ‘flow’ around the contours of the letters:


As you can see, any variety of font can be used. Provided the letters are drawn out in the design stage (working out where, if at all, they will ‘cross’ and which line will sit on top) – they can be stitched. Pretty beautiful, huh?


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