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English Precious-Metal Embroidery: A Customized Gilded Monogram

2-Session Weekend Course

Saturday, April 27 and May 11, 2019 – 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Code: 1K00LB
By Deborah Merrick-Wilson

The art of English precious-metal embroidery dates to medieval times and is still utilized by the house of Mountbatten-Windsor on military, clerical, and royal regalia. The magnificent uniforms, altar fronts, and clerical robes viewed at recent royal weddings illustrate its timelessness and lasting influence as a means to convey luxury and status.

Participants in this two-session class select a monogram letter on registration and are provided with a variety of colors of dupioni silk grounds from which to choose on the first day. Class begins with instruction in how to properly mount a muslin-backed silk ground in an embroidery hoop and design transfer. Design customization and a variety of beginning-through-intermediate techniques are taught.

They include but are not limited to invisible couching and overstretching pearl purl, contour chipping over bumpf and English felt padding, seeding, proud looping, application of broad and whipped plates, and multiple ways to utilize gilt spangles and 22K gold seed beads.

All materials are imported from the same English goldsmith house patronized by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and afford attendees the opportunity to walk in her royal shoes (so to speak) while executing a design of motifs that would have been seen at Tudor courts.

An illustrated discussion of the history of English precious-metal embroidery and its effects on the global economy of the medieval through early-modern eras is also part of the class.

English-precious metal embroidery is suitable for all ability levels; it helps, however, to be comfortable manipulating a threaded needle. Experienced embroiderers are encouraged to bring favorite tools, and participants may choose to bring supplemental illumination or magnification tools.

A $135 supply fee is payable to the instructor at the first meeting of the class.

Instructor: Deborah Merrick-Wilson

2 sessions; 7 hours each with lunch break (participants provide their own)

S. Dillon Ripley Center
Room 3113
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)