Goldwork, one of the most beautiful techniques in hand embroidery, relies on the couching stitch, perhaps the most humble of stitches in needlework. The couching stitch is easily accomplished, but requires a steady hand and keen eye to be executed at the highest level. During this 10-week course, students will use the sampler format to explore eight variations of the couching stitch. The course will culminate with the creation of a personal design or research project. There will be a strong focus on both historic and modern readings. Students will be encouraged to research images to support their learning.
This multifaceted classroom experience will involve pre-recorded video presentations, PDF documents, chat options, and weekly live video conferences with the instructor using the Zoom platform. Three guest speakers will join us in our Zoom meetings: Marion Preshing from Alberta, Marie-Renee Otis from Quebec and Cynthia Jackson from Ottawa.
Zoom sessions will be held each Thursday with a maximum of 20 students. All sessions will be recorded for you to watch as a replay if you are unable to attend.
This online course will look at eight categories of couching over 10 weeks:
Week 1: Set-up and introduction to couching
Week 2: Underside couching
Week 3: Diaper and pattern couching
Weeks 4 & 5: Or nué
Weeks 6 & 7: Italian shading
Week 8: Damascening, vermicelli, Italian couching
Weeks 9 & 10: Independent design, catch-up, or research project
Upon course completion, students will be able to:
- discuss the eight types of couching, the differences between them and their relative uses
- execute eight types of couching with repeated rows
- visually identify eight various types of couching from photographs
- draw a design on fabric for freestyle and counted couching work
- students will share photos of their work with the instructor through the course for ongoing feedback.
Formal assessment tools (optional):
- students will submit final photos of their sampler for comment.
- students will write a dictionary entry of the eight types of couching in their own words.
- students will draw their own design and indicate where they would use the various couching stitches, with annotations on colour usage.
- students will write a critique of their sampler.
- students will write a critique of their unique design plan.
Students may use materials that they have at home, or purchase an optional kit from Golden Hinde UK.
Below is a list of materials that you can gather for use on the course:
Gilt and/or silver twist of any size (10 metres or more)
Gilt and/or silver passing of any size (10 metres or more)
Yellow and grey Gutermann sewing thread
Muslin/calico fabric (with an option to attach a second layer of silk or linen if you have it)
Needles (sizes, 6, 9, 10, 12, chenille 18)
Archival Pen (Sakura micron 005)
Stranded cotton - a selection of DMC or Anchor threads
Embroidery hoop/stretcher bars/slate frame
Scissors for cutting metal thread
Pair of Koma (homemade is fine)