Goldwork "Coloured Couching" (Or Nue and more) Online Embroidery Class - July 2022

Goldwork "Coloured Couching" (Or Nue and more) Online Embroidery Class - July 2022

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16th, 23rd, 30th July 2022

2.00pm to 4.00pm (BST)

Join me online for three afternoons in July to explore the art of coloured couching.

Coloured couching is exactly that - couching with coloured stitches.  It includes the stunning work named "Or Nue" in which a picture is created on the gold threads, leaving just a tiny bit of gold peeking through.  Sometimes areas of gold are left bare as highlights.  Usually the gold threads are laid horizontally across the piece.

Or Nue                                        Or Nue Tulip by Lizzy Pye

There is a lot of crossover between Or Nue and another technique called Italian Shading.  In true Or Nue, the gold threads do not conform to the shape, rather the intricate shading marks out the design.  In Italian shading, the threads may flow with the shape of the design, using that to enhance the appearance.  Typically, more gold thread shows through in this type of work, and fewer colours of stitching thread are used for the shading.

Italian Couching Tulip by Lizzy Pye                                              Italian Couching by Lizzy Pye

Another exciting way to use colour in couching is known as Diaper Couching or Diaper Patterns.  This uses stitches to form a repeating pattern across a large area of gold couching such as a background.  Often the pattern is created with a single colour of silk, placing the stitches at varying intervals.  If the stitches would be too far apart, then a matching gold thread is used to couch the gold in between without disturbing the pattern.  Sometimes diaper patterns are created simply with matching thread.

Diaper Couching Sample by Lizzy Pye                      Diaper Couching



During this class I will be working alongside you to produce samples of the various types of coloured couching.  I will demonstrate the techniques, and there will be plenty of time for discussion and practice.

I will send you a kit (included in the price) in time for the class, with a selection of metal threads and other essentials for your samples.  I will also include a pattern and threads for a small Or Nue design, though you may choose to stitch your own if you prefer.  Please note, the tulip design is representative of the technique, not the actual design for the class.


Videos of the sessions will be made available to allow you to continue in your own time, and I give email support between sessions and after the class.

Places on this class are limited to ensure I have enough time to help everyone individually.

I also like to create a WhatsApp group for students to keep in touch between sessions, which can be a source of encouragement and support from your peers as well as myself.

I have always felt it is so important to be able to stitch in a comfortable, friendly environment and I'm proud to say that my online classes have proved to have just as lovely an atmosphere.  You can be sure of a fun, relaxed time alongside detailed, informative tuition.


This class is for you if you have done some goldwork and want to do a deeper dive into couching.  It is also fantastic for brushing up your couching skills and exploring your creativity.  It is designed so that you can try each technique independently, and the class is held over three sessions so there is a little time in between to practice and think of questions.

You will need an 8-10 inch hoop (one you can use 'hands-free' like this is ideal) and sharp, narrow bladed scissors (these or these are good).  You might find a block of beeswax helpful.

 You may also like to go through your stash for some coloured stranded cottons or fine silk threads, so that you can extend your samples.

A little background on the technique:

The word ‘goldwork’ is used to describe embroidery with metal threads and wires, even if they are not gold!  This technique has a long history all over the world; originally reserved for items of state and ceremony, now it can be enjoyed by everyone.

Some threads are stitched over to secure them to the fabric, others are cut and stitched through - like beads.




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