I had mentioned before that the gold wings Dallas wore on his crew shirt were some kind of Goldwork Embroidery, and that I would have to figure out how to make them. Well, now it is done, and here is the epic tale of how it was accomplished:
I have only managed to find a single reference photo on the web. At this point, I don’t really remember where it came from, but I am fairly certain it came from the RPF forums (If anyone sees this and knows the source for this reference, please let me know. I would love to give image credit where it is due.) From studying this photograph I pretty much decided that these were made using a technique called “Goldwork Embroidery.” I then proceeded to search out the materials I would need to re-create these wings for my Nostromo Crew Shirt.
I ended up purchasing four different types of Gilt Gold “Threads” from Garibaldi’s Needle Works: No. 2 Pearl Purl, No. 6 Wire Check, No. 6 Smooth Purl, and No.6 Rough Purl. Materials in hand, I had to go about learning the techniques used to create goldwork embroidery designs. I found a series of video tutorials on YouTube that formed the basis of my knowledge on the techniques, so rather than try to explain how it is done myself, I will just refer you to the source of all my knowledge on the subject: Goldwork Embroidery Tutorials by Sarah Homfray.
In the end, I got a little bit carried away with the different types of Purl threads and made my wings a little more fancified than those in the reference photo, but I am darn happy with them even though they may not be totally screen accurate. It looks like the screen used wings were made with a short piece of Pearl Purl around the center circle and the remainder of the design in either all Rough or all Smooth purl. I ended up adding a little more “texture” to my set of wings, utilizing all four types of threads mentioned above. In any case, to my way of thinking, they look a whole lot better than the commercially available gold wing patches that I have ever come across, and were a whole lot of fun to make.
Take a look at the progress photos below, or if you are the impatient type, just skip to the end of this post to see the finished product.
All together, I think these wings ended up taking about 18 hours of work. I’ve never done any goldwork embroidery before (or any kind of hand embroidery for that matter), so I am very pleased with how these turned out!