Please find below metal threads for goldwork embroidery. I have Gold, Copper and Silver supplies for Goldwork embroidery which I have broken them down into 6 Groups. Following is a section on Frequently Asked Questions about Metal Threads and then a brief history of Goldwork embroidery.

I also provide the metal threads and fabrics required for the Goldwork Projects in the Royal School of Needlework Embroidery Technique Book which can be purchased individually or in kit form.

Downloadable PDF File with Metal Thread Prices  Metal Thread Glossary  Metal Thread FAQ'S

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Metal threads are packaged in clear acid free plastic or paper bags or tissue paper. Please find below a wide selection of metal threads.

10% discount on metal threads order over $120.00.

25% discount on metal threads orders over $500.00.

Discount applies to combination of Bullions, Purls, Couched metal threads and Coloured metal threads only and not to be combined with metal thread samples, other merchandise or kits. Discount will be taken off your order on my end.

Most of the Metal Threads come in Gold, Silver and Copper and some in Red, Green, Blue, Turquoise and Violet.

Downloadable PDF File with Metal Thread Prices


Sorry at this time I am not selling samples of the metal threads due to the time it takes to put the samples together

BULLIONS - Larger Version of Purl Threads

Bright Check Bullions  |  Wire Bullions  |  Bright Bullions

PURLS - Smaller Version of Bullion Threads

Bright Check Purls (Frieze Brilliant)  |  Rough Purls  |  Smooth Purls  |  Wire Check Purls  |  Coloured Purls

For Pearl Purls Click Here


TYPE 1:  Check Thread  |  Japanese Threads  |  Flatworm   |  Large Back

Passing Threads  |  Rococco  |  Standard Lurex Threads  |  Tambour Thread

TYPE 2:  Cords, Twists (Torsade)  |  Gimp Cord  |  Grecian Twists

DMC Metallic Embroidery Thread

TYPE 3:  Jaceron  |  Lizerine  |  Pearl Purls  |  Milliary Wire  |  Plates  |  Spangles (Paillette)


Red, Blue, Green, Violet and Turquoise Check Purls  |  Red, Blue, Green, Violet and Turquoise Rough Purls

A Wide Range in Coloured Japanese Threads  |  Red, Blue, Green, Gold, Silver and Copper Passing Thread

Coloured No. 2 Pearl Purls: Black, Dark Blue, Dark Purple, Bright Magenta, Mid Brown, Ivory, Leaf Green, Super Emerald, Vivid Green, Vivid Red, Warm Gold (Light Copper)


DMC Metallic Embroidery Thread  |  Japanese Threads

Passing Thread No. 13 |  Standard Lurex Threads

Kreinik Metallic Threads: Cords and Braids and Ribbon


Kreinik Metallic Threads: Cords and Braids and Ribbon  |  Au Ver A Soie Silk  |  Soie 100/3 Silk Couching Thread

Polyester Sewing Thread  |  Polyester and Wool Felt  |  Soft Cotton Thread  |  Beeswax


Polyester and Wool Felt  |  Kid Leather  |  Southern Belle Muslin  |  Silk Fabrics


Awl  |  Goldwork and Beading Pad (Velvet Board)  |  Goldwork/Snipping Scissors  |  Koma  |  Mellor

Needlework Box  |  Needles  |  Prick and Pounce Set  |  Stiletto  |  Tweezers


All that Glitters  |  A-Z of Goldwork  |  Beetle Collection   |  Goldwork Embroidery Designs and Projects

Goldwork Techniques, Projects and Pure Inspiration  |  Metal Thread Embroidery

New Ideas in Goldwork   |  The Royal School of Needlework  -  Embroidery Techniques


Cardinal  |  Harebell  |  Honeysuckle  |  Lion  |  Marguerite  |  Or Nue Dragonfly

Or Nue Peacock Feather  |  Ram  |  Rooster  |  Tulip  |  Tudor Rose  |  Still-Life

Goldwork Sampler:  Passing Design  |  Heart Design  |  Fleur De Lys  |  Plate Design


Royal School of Needlework Embroidery Techniques Book  |  Supplies for Goldwork Projects


Beetle Collection Book by Jane Nicholas: Please Email me for Cost of Goldwork Beetle Kits

Goldwork Embroidery Designs and Projects Book: Please Email me for Cost of Kits in the Goldwork Embroidery Book


What is the difference between Gold 2% WM and Gilt?

Gold 2% WM is the highest standard gold thread that can be purchased for Goldwork. 2% gold is also known as Admiralty or Government standard and are 2% gold plating on white metal (WM) - silver plated copper. Gold 2% is a brighter and truer in colour to real gold than the Gilt metal threads.

Gilt is about ½ % of Gold on silver plated copper. Gilt metal threads are similar in appearance to the Gold 2% but Gilt tends to be more yellow in colour and stretchier than the Gold 2%.

Can I get pure gold embroidery threads?

I do not have pure gold embroidery threads, I do not think there is a company that makes these threads as the gold would probably be too soft to be made into embroidery threads and would kink or break and would be very expensive, but if anyone knows of a company that does please email me and I will post a link on my website.

Will the metal threads tarnish?

Yes the 2% gold, gilt, silver and copper embroidery threads will tarnish if exposed to continued spells of direct sunlight and air as oxides and/or sulfides in the air settle on the surface of the metal thread and cause it to turn dark brown or black over a period of time.

The only metal threads that I supply that do not tarnish are DMC Metallic Embroidery Thread Light Gold No. 282 and Lurex Thread, the No. 13 Passing Threads, all of the Japanese Threads and the Kreinik Cords and Kreinik #4 Braids which are all synthetic threads.

If you are beginning a new piece of embroidery the best way to decrease tarnishing is to keep the embroidery wrapped in acid free tissue paper or a sheet and stored in a dark place such as cupboard when you are not working on the embroidery. The threads that are being used to work the embroidery should also be stored in the same dark place as the embroidery in acid free bags or tissue paper. This is to ensure that that the metal threads will tarnish at the same rate. The finished embroidery should be mounted on acid free board and displayed behind glass in a box frame so that the metal threads are not touching the glass and displayed on a wall without direct sunlight so that the threads will tarnish at a slower rate. All metal threads will eventually tarnish.

Can I clean metal threads?

I do not think there is an effective way to clean the tarnish off the metal threads or to clean the fabric without effecting the embroidery. If you are beginning a new piece of embroidery then see "will the metal threads tarnish?" above on how to decrease the rate of tarnishing.

Can the metal threads be used for garments?

The metal threads that I sell are designed for pictorial design and for very occasional wear and re-enactment clothing (traditionally the threads were used for coats of arms, Military parade garments and ceremonial garments). The metal threads are not suitable for mass producing on clothing as the threads will distort and crack and tarnish when washed or worn on a regular basis.

Can the metal threads be used for making jewelry?

The metal threads are not strong enough to be used for making earrings, necklaces and bracelets and most of the metal threads will tarnish when exposed to direct sunlight and the oxides in the air. The Kreinik Cords and Kreinik #4 Braids may be suitable for stringing beads and the metal threads can be used for making broaches.

Can the metal threads be used with a sewing machine?

The only threads that I carry that can be used with a sewing machine is the Kreinik gold or silver No. 1 Japan thread or the Kreinik silver and carnival cords all the other metal threads are for hand embroidery.

Do you give discounts for large quantities or sell wholesale?

 I give a 10% discount on metal thread orders over $120.00 Canadian dollars. I give a 25% discount for orders over $500.00.

Do you carry a certain metal thread?

All the metal threads that I have in stock are on my website. If you require a different metal thread please email me and I will see if I can order it from the manufacturer.

Metal Thread History

Gold thread originally came from Asia, travelling to Beirut with the silk merchants. Its use became widespread after the birth of Christ and it could be found on vestments and clothes in countries like Cyprus, Egypt, Greece Italy and Turkey. The Middle Ages brought the greatest period of Church embroidery and much of it Goldwork, in what was known as Opus Anglicanum. The quality of the work was so high that orders came from all over Europe including the Vatican.

During the fifteenth century a new technique known as Or Nué came into production in Europe. Strands of gold thread were couched down in pairs in coloured silks and were shaded by the closeness of the stitches. After the Opus Anglicanum period, metal thread embroidery was used exclusively to decorate clothing and furnishing for the nobility and the church. Portraits from the Period of Queen Elizabeth 1 rein, illustrate how lavishly metal thread was used to decorate clothing. Even Blackwork embroidery portrayed in the paintings of the 16th century, was mixed with metal threads and spangles.

During the eighteenth century gold and metal threads were used extensively and produced flamboyant garments worn in the English and continental courts. Later metal threads garnished military dress uniforms and civic regalia and still do today.

In the nineteenth century during the Arts and Craft Movement wonderful designs produced by William Morris, Lewis Day and others, but not many used gold threads to a great extent.

In the twentieth century Goldwork techniques were carried on through the teaching and commission of the Royal School of Needlework and the works of embroiderers such as Beryl Dean and Jane Lemon who use metal threads in an imaginative and exciting way, on vestments and alter frontals for the church.

Goldwork continues today through the teaching of specialized teachers and enthusiastic embroiderers.

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Tanja Berlin © Berlin Embroidery Designs  

Address: 1481 Hunterbrook Road NW, Calgary, Alberta T2K 4V4, Canada Telephone: (403) 274 6293  Email: