Collection Online
silk (faille, thread), silver-plated brass (thread), cardboard (filling), starch paste
45.0 × 81.0 cm
Place/s of Execution
Accession Number
International Fashion and Textiles
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, 1970
Gallery location
Not on display

This apron features naturalistic floral and vegetal silk floss embroidery alongside highly accomplished metal thread work. Across the front, carefully placed sprays and foliage are executed in long and short stitch bordered by a symmetrical raised leaf design that has been wrapped over paper or card then applied to the surface.

During analysis, NGV textile conservators discovered that the oxidised metal threads revealed traces of gold and silver. This, combined with the visible presence of a yellow silk thread core, typical of gold work, led to the conclusion that the original effect would have been one of gilded brilliance.

For Kids

This apron is made of silk fabric and embroidered with colourful flowers in silk threads. Within the coloured threads are sections of grey threads. These grey threads were originally bright yellow gold, and would have glistened. Have you ever worn an apron? How is this one different to the sort of apron you have worn?

—text from Exquisite Threads (Apr 2015)