Why a Sterling Mellore?
We are constantly searching for the very best tools for fine embroidery and needlework. We feel a Sterling Mellore meets that definition as a necessary implement for goldwork embroidery.
- The point is shaped for the intricate maneuvers it is designed to perform.
- The length fits nicely in your hand.
- It will not bend.
- The finish will not flake off and will remain a prized item in your work box.
My first encounter with a mellore (sometimes called: melore) was in the early 1980’s. My fascination with goldwork embroidery had just begun. I hungrily acquired books, materials, and enrolled in the EGA Individual Correspondence Course for Metal Thread with Sara Hamilton. In my reading, I had seen a picture of it in Barbara Dawson’s book published in 1976, and then subsequently found a mellore listed in a catalog from the Royal School of Needlework in London. I ordered it with some other things and eagerly waited for it to come. When the package arrived, it was listed on the receipt but not inside. Because of it’s sharp point, in the handling through the mail it had poked a hole in the package and slid out. When I contacted the post office to file a claim, I can still hear the incredulous note in the voice of the clerk taking down the information. “It’s called a what? And what do you say it is used for?” After that, my purchase of mellore had to wait until my visit to the Royal School some time later.
A mellore is a traditional embroidery workroom tool used for goldwork embroidery to shape and bend metal thread as it is sewn on the ground fabric. Some real metal and most of the heavier metallic threads are by their nature very stiff and unwieldy, whether they are braided or twisted while others are extremely wiry like pearl purl. Using a mellore allows the embroiderer to control the shape and placement of these threads in their work.
A brief list of a mellore’s multiple uses for working with metal threads are:
- Creating sharp corners.
- Making the contour of a curve.
- Nudging a metal thread into place when there are multiple couched rows.
- Holding the gold thread down in position as a stitch is made when sewing metal threads over padding or padding string.
Access Commodities’ Sterling Mellore is made for us in Great Britain and is hallmarked. Since 1720, hall marks are used on all English sterling silver, a practice that developed as a means for the maker to warrant an item’s purity, the date of manufacture and the duty mark.
The very smooth tip of our mellore means it can be used to lay silk as well.
Our mellore comes packaged in a clear see through box for storage. We have heard of some retailers having their mellores monogrammed for their customers.
Here is a list of books Access Commodities’ stocks on goldwork embroidery:
Goldwork Embroidery Designs & Projects by Mary Brown
Beginner’s Guide to Goldwork by Ruth Chamberlain
Traditional Silk & Metal Thread Techniques on Canvas by Jane Zimmerman
Royal School of Needlework Embroidery Techniques by Sally Saunders
All that Glitters by Alison Cole
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