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Re: Many questions

Poster: "Stephanie M. Thorson" <smt2@st-andrews.ac.uk>

Corun wrote:

> Of late I have been looking into couched embroidery of metallic threads.
> These threads are sometimes referred to as bullion. Now to the mundane half
> of my personality bullion is usually an ingot of noble metal, not a thread.
> Also, in some references a gold or silver thread that is not bullion is
> said to have threads of silk as a core. I am wondering what the modern
> equivalents of these are and where one can easily acquire them.

Bullion threads are in fact just that - real metal - and are still used
for making military insignia, among other things.  They are
correspondingly pricey.  They come in varying grades - Japan gold is the
highest quality and the most expensive.  They are still available from
specialty thread manufacturers, although most of the addresses I have for
these are in Britain rather than the US.  There is a book published by
Search Press called "Goldwork" or "Goldwork Embroidery" (can't recall
which, now) which discusses some of the techniques involved in the use of
metal threads (which must be couched due to their lack of flexibility),
although the emphasis is on modern applications rather than historical

I think Kreinik manufactures bullion threads for embroidery still, but
those might be hard to come by and will probably have to be special
ordered.  A specialist needlework shop could help you more with that. 
Anchor and DMC both produce metallic flosses (including new "stranded
metallics") which can be suitable substitutes for some of the bullion
threads and both less expensive and more easily available.  Whether or not
they would be suitable for your particular project would depend on the
specific types of metals you'd be using.  To my knowledge, for instance,
there isn't a substitute for the metal purls which are used in goldwork.

Stephanie M. Thorson			|  SCA: Lady Alianora Munro
Dept. of Scottish History		|  Clan White Wing
University of St Andrews		|  Tarkhan, Khanate Red Lion

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