We went to Vienna last week. And although we did a few of the touristy type things, I was especially keen on visiting the passementerie factory of M. Maurer founded in 1863 and suppliers to the Emperor's court (that's Sissi to you and me).
Only a few minutes on foot away from the main shopping street Mariahilfer Straße, lies a quiet road called the Kandlgasse. Through a green courtyard you enter a lovely hallway with many period features. Machines are humming while you climb to the first floor shop area.
The room is filled with braid trimmings, beads, ribbons, cuffs, tassels and uniform accessories. Nice old-fashioned pattern boards with different styles of machine embroidered lettering, badges and medal ribbons are also on display. However, no gold threads in sight. Luckily, the nice lady fetches some sample boards for me. And then I am a little confused...
Not only do they call the different threads different names to what I am used too. After all, that's to be expected given that I usually shop for gold threads in England and this is Austria. No, they even number them differently! Smooth purl #8 thus becomes Boullion glatt/glanz #11 fein. Since I didn't bring a sample, I had to pick my threads by eye. Mental note to self: do make an old fashioned sample card of the threads you have and defend it with your life. Or rather: bring it with you when shopping for gold threads.
The very good news is that Maurer still makes some threads and gold thingies not easily available to us embroiderers! And they are even prepared to custom make threads when you provide them with a sample. How cool is that?
The first thing I absolutely needed to acquire where those little stamped out gold pieces used in some embroideries on church vestments to represent grapes and wheatears. Now Maurer makes many more different shapes, so I will have to return. Such a pity, really. In the meantime, you can lay your hands on the wheat bits and the grapes by visiting my webshop. And don't worry, the dark blob on the grape in the picture above is just my reflection.
I also decided to add gilt plate to my webshop. It comes in different widths starting with 0.6 mm all the way up to 2.0 mm. And I have fancy double whipped plate too. Also available in different widths. Other newbies are some superfine passing thread and couching thread. It is that I still need to do a lot of instruction writing, kit packing and mounting before the show in Osnabrück at the end of September, otherwise I would start playing with these newly acquired beauties straight away!
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Jessica M. Grimm
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