Illuminated letters were usually the first letter of a page or paragraph, with the letter greatly enlarged and decorated first using gold leaf, and then completed with coloured paints using a very fine brush. The term ‘illuminated’ comes from the use of the gold leaf, which reflected the light and made the letter appear to glow. Animals, plants and mythical beasts were used to decorate the letter. By the 7th Century, illuminated letters had become a highly respected art form, particularly in Ireland and England.
Your chosen letter will be worked in stranded cotton and gold thread on a satin background and will therefore cover the techniques of surface embroidery and goldwork. The kit includes all materials required - calico backing fabric, duchess satin in a beautiful antique ivory, three skeins of stranded cotton in dark green, purple & pink, Japanese gold thread, Gutermann's sewing thread, beeswax, an embroidery needle, a chenille needle with buttonhole thread for 'plunging' the gold threads, a stitch guide, a stitch diagram and comprehensive instructions.
The 'E' letter shown is 10cm high, by 11cm wide. The height of the other letters will also be 10cm, but the width will vary slightly depending on the letter chosen. ('I' is much narrower than an 'M' for example.)
You will need a hands free ring frame and embroidery scissors. You may find a thimble, fine ended tweezers, needle threader, magnifier and daylight lamp useful.
I have designed the entire alphabet, so there is sure to be a letter to suit you! Please specify which letter(s) you require when ordering.
Suitable for all skill levels.
All my kits are packaged using recyclable and/or biodegradable materials.
Designed by Liz Tapper at The Art of the Needle.
Illuminated Letter Embroidery Kit
gold metal threads