This much-needed book features all you need to create beautiful stitched work. Helen McCook includes the major stitches, with expert advice on padding, couching, using colour and mixing techniques. While covering the traditions of goldwork, she develops techniques offering innovative design, new ideas and inspiration.The Royal School of Needlework (RSN) teaches hand embroidery to the highest standard and is well respected all over the world. It not only upholds the traditions of English embroidery that go back many hundreds of years, but is constantly taking embroidery forward in new and innovative ways. This series of Essential Stitch Guides has been produced in close collaboration with the RSN with the aim of providing a set of definitive works on traditional embroidery techniques. All of the authors were chosen by the RSN and all are graduate apprentices of the Royal School. Goldwork is all about the interplay of colour, texture and light, and it is this quality that is at the heart of Helen McCook's work. The book starts with a historical account of goldwork, then moves on to the materials and equipment required, framing up, how to transfer a design on to fabric and how to start and finish a thread. The main section of the book then covers all of the essential stitches and techniques through clear, step-by-step diagrams and photographs, coupled with beautiful, close-up photographs showing how then can be used in a finished piece. These include couching, bricking, basketweave, cutwork, spangles, s-ing, pearl purl, plate and kid. The book ends with a section in which the techniques described in the previous section are combined to create finished pieces, all beautifully and exquisitely worked by the author.