Group and Individual Instruction in 

Traditional 16th Century Hand Embroidery Techniques

At Gutter Lane Embroidery, we teach a wide variety of historic hand embroidery techniques for all levels of skill. All our projects are based on extensive historical research, specializing in the techniques used for 16th century English embroidery. We can help you master working with the fine silk and gold threads that were used in the exquisite decorative patterns seen in the portraiture of the time.

For more information about private or group instruction, please contact us at [email protected]


The following projects are based on techniques used in 16th century embroidery.  They can be taught in groups from 10 to 25 students.  If your group is interested please email [email protected] for more information on availability, teaching fees and kit costs.

The B​oleyn Bloom

This beautiful blue blossom was inspired by a fragment of embroidery traditionally believed to have graced the bed Anne Boleyn was born in.  It is a two day project suitable for intermediate embroiderers.  Gold and green metallic leather, plate, crystals, beads, spangles all combine with traditional goldwork threads to make this an engaging motif to embroider.  It is worked on a ground of silk faille and elegantly framed with looped gold passing.

The third and final of the 16th century botanical series is the  Marigold. The blooms sparkle in gold and red silk with gold metal highlights.  Alternating layers of gold threads and gold and red silk add dimension to each petal.

The bud is padded and shaded with silk over plate and the leaves are worked in satin stitch, plate, crimped plate, lizerine and smooth purl.  Marigold  is a handsome companion for  Eglantine and Sweet Pea

Eglantine was the first flower in the series of three inspired by the 16th century botanical illustrations of the French artist Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues.  The sprig is worked on a 

ground of ivory satin in layers of fine coloured silk and metal threads in gold and silver, bringing the delicate blooms to life.  

This project will be taught at Beating Around the Bush in Adelaide, October 2020.

The Bacton Altar Cloth

The Bacton Altar Cloth represents a rare example of a 16th century embroidered item of clothing reputed to have once belonged to Elizabeth I. Through illustrated lecture, discussion and hands-on projects, this class will touch on several aspects of the Elizabethan culture including fashion, literature, science and art. We will virtually “unpick” the seams of St. Faith’s treasured altar cloth to explore its history and the connection to Blanche Perry, an important and lifelong member of Elizabeth I’s household. Amongst the over one hundred motifs embroidered on the cloth are flowers, fruits, animals, insects, birds, people and sea monsters. Brilliantly coloured silk threads highlighted with gold file bring the images vividly to life. Throughout the class, students will be learning the embroidery techniques used by the original embroiderers by producing stitches samples using supplies provided in class. Each student will also choose a larger project from a selection of three different floral motifs to be embroidered on ribbed silk.  For further information please email [email protected].

The delicate Sweet Pea flower is worked in purple silk and silver plate.  The leaves are layers of gold threads and green silk and the stems and fine tendrils are various sizes of lizerene.

The seed pods are worked in satin stitch, padded satin and 

circular couched passing, partially covered in rows of laid gilt silk twist.   If you would like to stitch it, all instructions are available in Inspirations Magazine Issue#105.  It is a beautiful companion to the Eglantine.

Fruit and Flower Roundel features a garland of strawberry fruit and blossoms and larkspur flowers.

Worked in a wide range of metal threads and coloured silks, this is a very challenging project for advanced embroiderers.  

Velvet Rose Roundel is stitched using the traditional 16th century embroidery techniques found on the Broderers’ Crown. The roses, leaves and crescent on are worked initially on a cotton ground in layers of silk and metal threads.

The individual elements are trimmed from the cotton and appliquéd onto a velvet ground mounted on cotton. The gently curving stems are stitched directly on the velvet connecting all the elements.

Tudor Embroiderers and their Work

Tudor Embroiderers and their Work is a two day workshop which begins with a PowerPoint presentation, followed by a discussion of how the embroidery guild was organized in the Tudor era including what they produced and for whom. The afternoon is spent learning about the designs and materials they used to create very intricate embroideries and trying out the techniques on a practice cloth. The following day is spent using the techniques and materials to complete a small project such as this exquisite little elephant.

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