About Gold Work
Using metal threads, goldwork is particularly prized for the way light plays upon it. Threads are usually imitation gold, silver or copper, they have never been pure gold but silver gilt or cheaper materials and despite its name threads are available in an array of colours. Goldwork is a form of surface embroidery, usually laid work or couching. The treads are positioned using a tool known as a mellor.
Originally developed in Asia, goldwork has been used for over 2000 years. It reached its peak in the Middle Ages with the ecclesiastical work known as Opus Anglicanum. Nowadays it is used in furnishings of royalty and the nobility, and military regalia. Goldwork has always been and remains reserved for occasional or special use as the threads are so expensive, it is time consuming to create and will not hold up to laundering.