French wire
July 04, 2022

Discovering Goldwork

My first approach with this technique was through a luneville class in which we used French wire. After that I have used this material in an unconventional way perhaps, but I think it is not only because I had not studied the technique in a classical way, which I did recently, but also because I like to experiment and discover the possibilities in different materials. .

Today this technique is much more accessible than it was in the past, when hand embroidery with metallic threads was reserved only for the wealthy due to the high cost of materials. However, I believe that labor is still the most expensive part of any hand-embroidered piece.

Goldwork has typically been used by many cultures and faiths on ecclesiastical, military, and royal attire to denote status and power.

One of the most important characteristics inherent in the materials used is the way they capture and interact with light, giving a garment a volume and textures that no other embroidery could achieve.

Goldwork contemporary technique

This is a technique that requires a lot of patience, attention to detail, discipline and effort, but without a doubt it manages to evoke the glamour and extravagance of an 18th century period costume that most of us mere mortals today only see on screens.

I think it is important to mention that these materials cannot be washed in a conventional way, but must be treated by a specialist in textile conservation, so I do not recommend it for daily use garments. I have seen it a lot in brooches, handbags and other accessories. It is the ideal technique to embroider insects. For me, the richness of textures and volume in embroidery is in the combination of techniques, in which one complements the other, finding a perfect balance so that the embroidery converses with the viewer who admires it.