Leather Embroidery Workshop

On Saturday, I attended a leather embroidery workshop at the Reading Museum, which is one of a series of workshops looking at medieval techniques in celebration of the Reading Abbey which has recently opened back up.

In this workshop we learned basic leather working techniques using gloving leather, which is typically thinner, along with an iron-on backing, a gloving needle and standard embroidery thread. We mainly used a split stitch, which is similar to a back stick but coming up through the middle of the thread. We also explored using a two-thread technique that covers a lot of ground, and that you could pull the thread through or leave the second colour as decoration.

The morning was used to explore the leather as it was a new fabric and technique to work with compared to normal embroidery. The afternoon, we could take inspiration from the museum around us including the Abbey capitals and the Bayeux Embroidery, and other sources on the internet, to create our own design on a larger piece of leather.

This was a very fun and enjoyable workshop that left me wanting more. We were lucky enough to be able to take the needles home, and so I hope to continue on the little pieces we were given with my own embroidery thread that I have. I wish to include sewing in my artwork, but I feel like I would struggle with the justification in such pieces that should resemble reality.

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