Hawthorne & Heaney loves the London Embroidery School’s Christmas Stars Goldwork Workshop

This weekend, Hawthorne & Heaney’s sister company, The London Embroidery School hosted a special Christmas Goldwork Stars Workshop. The students were eager to learn more about goldwork techniques so the opportunity to combine new skills and festivities was too much to miss!

Here are a few photos from their progress through the day:


They start by preparing the fabric, transfering the design and padding some areas with felt.


Some of the students edge their stars with pearle purl, covering the padded areas with cutwork in a combination of rough and smooth purl and filling the flat area with bright check chips.

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Others used a combination of purl and check for the padded area and crystals for the flat.


The lovely Pearl teaching (and posing)


Some of the tools used during the day including wax, tweezers, scissors, size 12 needles, purl, check, pricker and bright check chips on the bullion board


Deep concentration is necessary for work like this


A table full of stars (and slight creative chaos)


Some of the students feeling a little bit pleased with their progress

At Hawthorne & Heaney we are always delighted to see people taking an interest and learning about these specialist embroidery techniques. We feel that it is important to preserve the knowledge of how to create these effect so that the crafts do not get lost in generations to come so if you would like to learn more about some of these specialist embroidery skills, why not join the London Embroidery School ladies for a course and see what you can learn!

Hawthorne & Heaney on Application of Traditional Goldwork

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It can be hard when you get excited and caught up in learning a new technique, but when it comes to applying your skills to a particular item, one often realises it is harder than first thought. We thought we would take our recent work for Joshua Kane and use it as a sort of case study for the use of goldwork in fashion.


These pieces were inspired by lightening which give the goldwork a very crisp look whilst showing off the complexity of the goldwork. Often, goldwork is shown with some accents of silk work, however by keeping purely to the goldwork it makes it look very bold and fresh.

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Placement of pieces such as these is very important as they weigh a lot so the piece of the garment that they can be crafted into need to be very sturdy in itself and not be subject to too much movement when worn . This is why the collar and high waistband as shown above work well with this technique as they will not be agitated in these positions. As can be seen in the images, the positioning of the embroidery and the garment pieces are worked in careful consideration of each other.

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Along with the weight, the height of the embroidery has to be taken into consideration as the padding underneath, forces the goldwork to stand proud of the fabric. This can make for a really interesting design feature, as can be seen in this example, the shadows created by the height add to the depth and texture of the piece.

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With some careful manipulation, the use of traditional techniques can make a very refreshing to classic cuts which has so much possibility. In these pieces there is only 2 types of goldwork material used, which allows for a clean appreciation of the lines and design itself, allowing it to be an interesting addition to the overall look without over powering the garment as a whole.

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If you have an idea that you would like to see come to fruition or are interested in learning more about goldwork, get in touch with us at Hawthorne & Heaney or the London Embroidery School.

Hawthorne & Heaney at the Gieves and Hawkes Archives


IMG_2347We were lucky enough to be asked to go on a tour of the new refurbished No. 1 Savile Row, Gieves and Hawkes Historical Archive so we thought we would take the opportunity to share the pictures of some of the treasures they have there. Their long history of 450 years has allowed them to accumulate this amazing collection of pieces. The building itself is also very striking as the former home of Lord Fairfax, the Duke of Devonshire and then the Royal Geographic Society. Part of their renovations was to bring the splendid Map room a the heart of the building, originally installed by the Royal Geographic Society, back to its former glory. It is through the impressive balcony in the Map room that the archive is accessed.

Above: detail from uniform jacket with its aiguillette, an ornamental braided cord.

gieves 5A selection of uniforms on display at the entrance of the archive

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Cuff details with Gold lace and belt on display

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Inspecting some of the jackets from the archive, this one with original aiguillette.

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Tiny Cut-work bird and crown emblem with gold lace

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These cutwork cuffs would have been gold when they were new, but over time, they become discoloured and settle at the shade they are now.

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Embroidered Epaulette, also discoloured by time with a glimpse of the attached aiguillette bottom left.