ImagesMagUK_June_2024 JUNE2024 images 31 KB TIPS & TECHNIQUES Anatomy of an embroidery Do you have a standout print or embroidery that illustrates your business’s expertise? Would you like to share your work in our Anatomy feature? Then we’d like to hear from you. Contact us via social media (@ImagesMagUK) or email ( using ‘Anatomy’ as the subject line. This intricate piece was created by Alice Slater of London-based embroidery house Hand & Lock. Called Transcendent Threads, it showcases a wide variety of techniques and demonstrates what is possible when top-notch embroidery skills are combined with a highly creative imagination It was digitised using Wilcom EmbroideryStudio. The digitising took around two full days. The design took around the same amount of time to create. This piece combines digital, freehand and hand embroidery, and goldwork. Goldwork is an ancient embroidery technique that uses metallic wires and thread. Freehand embroidery is where someone is controlling the direction and stitching on the machine by hand, moving it around and using a pedal. We used a variety of different threads from Madeira, including ceramic, metallic and rayon viscose, as well as satins, silks, velvet and cotton for the fabrics. All of the animals were digitally embroidered. We wanted them to be padded using wadding and have bold appliqué shapes. I felt these were very important motifs in the design so I wanted them to stand out and be as sharp and clear as possible. This large-scale embroidered banner intricately weaves together hand embroidery, digital machine embroidery, and opulent goldwork. Drawing inspiration from heraldic motifs, it breathes new life into the classic garter banner, featuring majestic and mythical creatures like the unicorn and dragon. The meticulous detailing and contemporary flair make it a captivating design that bridges the realms of history and modernity. Digital embroidery designer and coordinator Alice Slater describes this Transcendent Threads piece as being ‘a modern alchemy of mystical traditions’. She explains: “I designed this piece for the Hand & Lock Prize for Embroidery 2023 exhibition. I thought it would be nice to showcase the craftsmanship of those that work at Hand & Lock so we collaborated between specialisms to create a large-scale wall hanging.” The design comprises around 500,000 stitches. For a piece of this size that isn’t very high, however we used lots of appliqué shapes. The centre of the design is our take on digital goldwork. It is created by layering felt as a base to add dimension, then using thick metallic threads in different tones to mimic the metal wires used in goldwork. The majority of the digital embroidery was stitched first then the elements created by hand were added afterwards. Some areas like the birds at the top of the design were patches made separately using the digital embroidery machine then attached at the end. The lion’s breath was created by layering organza and applying chain stitching using our freehand machine. We used a Tajima TWMX embroidery machine supplied byAJS.