Beginner's Guide to Goldwork

Beginner's Guide to Goldwork

4.33 (39 ratings by Goodreads)
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Goldwork is the art of embroidery with metal threads, and has been prized by religious orders and royal households throughout history for its opulence and intricate stitchery. Those who love traditional embroidery can now learn the essential techniques and create their own exquisite embroideries with this easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide.

Through careful and detailed instruction, Ruth Chamberlin teaches you how to stitch beautiful goldwork motifs, which together form an impressive sampler to show off their work. Covering a range of designs, stitches and techniques, with templates throughout and examples of the author's inspiring work, this book provides a firm basis on which to build future projects and continue on your goldwork journey.

This popular and enduring book by Ruth Chamberlin now returns as a Search Press Classic, with the addition of a foreword by the illustrious embroiderer and world-renowned blogger Mary Corbet (
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Product details

  • Paperback | 80 pages
  • 204 x 260 x 6mm | 313g
  • Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 230 Illustrations, color
  • 1782214860
  • 9781782214861
  • 41,712

Review quote

Goldwork, a centuries-old technique most commonly seen in ecclesiastical embroidery, incorporates gold thread as an element of the design, usually alongside silk or cotton threads. Educator Chamberlin demonstrates commonly used goldwork methods, with a focus on the specialized stitches and approaches involved. Many of the stitches are familiar to embroiderers, and the gold thread is couched using a brick stitch or a similar couching stitch. Though Chamberlin references a sampler when teaching goldwork, only pieces of that sampler are provided here. While they could easily stand alone as smaller works, it's unfortunate that those learning from this book don't have access to the full design. VERDICT Goldwork is a fascinating specialty technique, and Chamberlin provides a beginner-friendly overview to the intricacies of it. * Library Journal USA * A re-issued title, part of the Classics series, is perfect for anyone who loves working with gold/silver threads. Ruth presents detailed instructions for eight beautiful designs for the embroiderer to replicate or adapt, using traditional materials and techniques all fully explained and illustrated. Sumptuous photography, highlighting shimmering gold and silk threads, will inspire both the beginner and more experienced to create their own masterpiece. Outstanding value for money. * East Kent Embroiderers Guild * I have never done goldwork before, but this book has all you need to know. What I like best about it, is that it does not just stick to very simplistic ideas. It gives the basics and then shows you what is possible. The step by step stitches and projects are achievable. This is a great little book. The examples of Ruth's work are amazing. * * January 2017

Oh dear.

I promise this isn't shameless self-promotion here. There's nothing about this book that has to do with me, except for the fact that I love the book...and the fact that my name is on the cover.

There's a new edition to Beginner's Guide to Goldwork by Ruth Chamberline out. I wrote the forward. Why? Because I love the book!

I reviewed Beginner's Guide to Goldwork a long time ago, way back in 2007. It became hard to find for a while, and now it's been re-issued - a great boon to embroiderers everywhere, because now the book is widely available again, and affordably so!

There are many reasons why this book nestles deep within the cockles of my heart, but there's one reason in particular. I'll share that with you today, because if you're anything like me when it comes to your embroidery journey, you'll understand!

Besides the book being a practical instructional guide, and besides the book housing some really stunning goldwork embroidery, and besides the book featuring a drop-dead-gorgeous silk and gold embroidery sampler to work - all of these being good reasons for loving the book and wanting it on your shelf

Full article: * Mary Corbet's Needle n Thread * January 2007

If you're a fan of goldwork and silk embroidery, or if it's something you've seen and wanted to try, but didn't know how to go about starting, then this is the book for you! Beginner's Guide to Goldwork by Ruth Chamberline (published by Search Press) is a magnificent instructional book on basic goldwork techniques and silk stitching.

Published in December of 2006, Beginner's Guide to Goldwork is a practical guide not only for the newcomer, but also for the experienced embroiderer. Ruth's book is full of magnificent color photos of gorgeous goldwork projects - they are a real source of inspiration for any needleworker. But better than that, the step-by-step instructions are all illustrated. All kinds of goldwork techniques from simple couching to Or Nue, as well as embroidery techniques such as shading (in long and short stitch), as all worked out right before your eyes in great photo tutorials.

I've got quite a collection of goldwork books, and when I first saw that this one was coming out, I thought it would be "just another book" with the same stuff in it. But when it arrived in the mail, I couldn't put it down until I'd read through the whole book and examined every photo. I concluded that I really like this book!

The goldwork part of this book primarily concentrates on couched goldwork threads, like passing threads and so forth. The author shows you all kinds of methods of couching, to achieve different effects in your goldwork. The instruction is given by walking the embroiderer through a beautiful goldwork and silk sampler, so it's a great way to get introduced to metal thread embroidery and to enjoy making a really pretty sampler!

It's hard to say what I like best about the book. I can appreciate the instructions (including photos) on setting up a project, choosing threads, transferring the design, starting and ending threads - all those details that, when I first started stitching, I had no idea about, but which make a finished project so much more professional. All the details are here, mapped out perfectly for the beginner. But I think, overall, I like the author's direct approach and clear explanations. And, of course, the lavish photos, which are all close-up enough to see the details and get the gist of the techniques used.

If you're a fan of goldwork and silk embroidery - or of needlework in general - I think you'll like having this book in your library.

Featured in The Needlework Books that Keep on Giving October 2016 * Mary Corbet's Needle 'n Thread *
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About Ruth Chamberlin

Ruth Chamberlin studied drawing and dress at Croydon Art School before moving on to the School of Embroidery, London, where she studied ecclesiastical embroidery. After leaving the school Ruth worked at the Warham Guild in London where she embroidered a cope and mitre for the Archbishop of Canterbury. Ruth has taught in adult education for over thirty years, and now works on her own commissions. She lives in Rutland, UK.
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Rating details

39 ratings
4.33 out of 5 stars
5 54% (21)
4 28% (11)
3 15% (6)
2 3% (1)
1 0% (0)
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