The highly padded work, and particularly the raised figures, are very unsatisfactory, but for ecclesiastical work, hangings, heraldry, etc., in bullion and silk, the padding of severely drawn flowers and ornaments are very effective and highly appropriate.
For raised gold work, yellow soft cotton is used for the padding, grey and white for silver work, and strings and linen threads for both metals. See Plates No. 68, 69, 70 and 71.
"In the early work they had no resource for obtaining effects which might be considered to be foreign to straightforward and bond-fide needlework. Later, in the fifteenth century, relief effects were then attempted and obtained in much of the gold thread work, and an early indication of the departure from flat simplicity of earlier work is given in the modelled feather of the fifteenth century of angels' wings. The modelling or padding out of needlework is more pronounced in the early sixteenth-century architectural work, and carried still further in coats-of-arms of the seventeenth-century pouches." *
* Alan S. Cole, C.B., " Ornament in European Silks."
OLD EMBROIDERIES are frequently cut out and transferred to new grounds, and then treated like applique. The best method to finish the edges is to work in silk carefully matched in colour to the old embroidery; sometimes cords or hanks of silks couched are used for finishing the edges. These methods are less expensive but not satisfactory. It is easy to perceive by this treatment that the work has been transferred, which is not desirable.
Cords, gimps, braids, hanks of floss silk were used in the sixteeenth century, and spangles, beetle-wings, tinsel, and jewels in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Many admirable results can thus be accomplished, but one must, however, be very careful and discreet in handling the four last-named embellishments.