The term gold-work embroidery was originally used to describe a form of decorative embroidery that employed real gold threads in a mixture of surface applications and techniques that use both laid and stitched yarns. The term now is extended to gold-work and metallic thread embroidery and includes all metals: gold (though this proved costly for most industries and was not used much after the 10th century), silver gilt, silver, pewter and copper, and metallic (alloy or synthetic) colored threads and yarns.
These two examples of incredible metal-thread embroidery are part of my vintage purse collection. The handbag I purchased at an estate sale, has copper, green and bronzed colored embroidery threads. The coin purse is mainly copper and silver colors, and I found this on ebay.
The March/April 2008 issue PieceWork Magazine included my article The Glittering World of Metal- Thread Embroidery. I created the project shown below Deco Butterfly, which appears in the magazine and Velvet Bracelet that you can download the directions to from their web site (use the link above and scroll to the bottom of the index).
Throughout the article they used pictures of the many examples of this fascinating embroidery that I have been collecting over the years.
Happy Stitching, ~Christen