Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Reply To: The Dress


The technique we used to embroider the leaves with metal plate thread was satin stitch, over padding, on net. I’ve been lucky enough to buy some antique pieces of metal thread work and so far as I can work out satin stitching with plate died out as a technique mid 19th century, since then its been couched down and folded in a zigzag fashion, this uses half the thread. Assuit work is done on net, but it is a much heavier plate, and coarser net. In all of the satin stitch of plate examples I’ve seen there is no padding under the thread, so I think that’s unique to this dress. We also stitched out the outlines on the net and felt using the computerised embroidery machine, I digitised the designs from a vintage/antique piece which also used plate thread. Sorry if that’s all really technical, but I hope I’ve explained it clearly. If I’ve done it properly there’s a photo of the plate thread couched in folds as it is taught nowadays.