Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Or nué (without the nué)

I'm going to do this piece in or nué.  If you haven't come across this before, it translates as 'shaded gold', and is gold thread couched down with stitches in a coloured thread quite close together, allowing the gold to sparkle through.

For this, I want the entire panel to be covered in gold thread, with just the leaves themselves coloured.  Starting at the bottom, I couched a single length of the gold thread (imitation Japanese gold no. 8) with machine embroidery thread in gold (Gutermann Sulky 8007).

This is exactly the same shade and shininess as the couched thread, so the couching stitches should be invisible.  That's the theory, anyway!

I've done up to the very bottom of the leaves in this way:

In some ways this is working as I’d hoped - you can't see the couching stitches - but in another way, it isn't.  The machine embroidery thread is very slippery and very slightly stretchy, and it isn’t holding the couched thread down as tightly as I'd like.

I'll press on, though, and see how it goes.


  1. Lovely....I'm looking forward to the day I do some or nue :-)

  2. Well, from here, it looks good, although I can imagine a very slippery thread will turn the air in the studio blue after a while!

  3. Wow, this looks like a large piece for or nué, what size is the panel. I soooo want to do a piece of or nué!

    Do you mind if I offer a couple of suggestions?

    "carries on assuming you don't"

    Try half hitching the thread into the needle so that it does not slip so much.

    Twist your Japanese gold in the direction of it's own twist, this will make it firmer and it should couch down better. Don't over twist or it will start to kink, and you will need to untwist a little at the end of each row to make the bend back, then put the twist back in when you have secured the turn. Hope this helps.

    I will look forward to watching this progress.

  4. This will be gorgeous! But it does look very tedious. Will you use different shades of green for the leaves, or all one color?

  5. Love or nue. If you give up on the gutermann Madeira machine metallic is not stretchy. I use it for tambour and it works well.