The Inventory Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) in the Netherlands contains ICH of which the communities, groups or individuals involved have written a safeguarding plan. Those plans are reviewed by an independent review committee. Every three years an evaluation of the safeguarding takes place.


Artistic embroidery and gold embroidery are almost always applied to unique garments or accessories. As there are no patterns available for artistic embroidery, it always starts with making a design. After the fabric is stretched in an embroidery frame, the design is transferred to the fabric with chalk, a stencil, stamp or tissue paper. After transferring the design, one can begin the artistic embroidery or gold embroidery. Characteristically, anything that fits through a needle can be used, both traditional and experimental materials.

 For artistic embroidery beads and sequins are attached to the fabric. A special feature of this technique is that while the right side of the fabric is down, loops of working thread are passed through the fabric from the top with the loop needle (a thin sharp crochet hook). Beads or sequins are threaded on this working thread, one of which is attached to the fabric with each loop. One thus works on the back of the embroidery and works mainly by touch because one cannot see exactly what one is doing. In this way, one can fill large areas with beads or sequins relatively quickly.

 One of the most striking features of gold embroidery is the creation of reliefs with cord, felt, leather or cardboard. These reliefs are then decorated with cannetilles (thin metal spirals that can be cut to size and sewn on like a bead), metal strips (which are sewn on zigzag) or thick gold thread (which is sewn on with a thin thread).

 After embroidery, the work is removed from the embroidery frame and finished further. The embroidery can be either an appliqué that is sewn on to something, a decoration that can be used as jewellery or (on larger pieces of fabric) made into a garment.


Monique van Munster is an embroiderer and one of about 6 teachers who teach these techniques more or less regularly. In total, she has introduced some 350 people to these techniques, from short introductory workshops to annual courses and master classes.


Embroidery in a general sense was originally meant to protect the edges of garments such as cuffs, cuffs and slits. Especially within the church, gold embroidery was applied very early on in chasubles, choir caps and veils. Tambourine work (the predecessor of artistic embroidery) came to Europe from India by the Silk Road around 1750. From the industrial revolution, as a relatively cheap imitation of lace, machine-made cotton tulle was manufactured on to tambour on. This grew into a major home industry in several European regions such as Lier (B) and Luneville (F). In 1865, a new application was developed in Luneville; by threading beads on the working thread and adding them between the embroidery stitches, beads could suddenly be embroidered relatively quickly, this is the origin of artistic embroidery.

In the 1920s, this technique culminated in the beads and sequins embroidery of the flapper dresses of the roaring twenties. Artistic embroidery, complemented by gold embroidery, is one of the techniques that belong to haute couture. Currently, from various fashion houses, artistic embroidery is getting a lot of attention again. Also in the Netherlands this collection of embroidery techniques is increasingly discovered as an autonomous art craft.

As more and more can be found on the internet about specialised craft techniques, the demand for lessons and courses in artistic embroidery and gold embroidery has also increased.



  • On the various digital platforms, it will be made visible what is possible with embroidery. In addition, opportunities will be sought for demonstrating the techniques.
  • With the help of a regional education centre teacher, an education programme for these centres will be compiled for which those with a fashion education will be actively approached.
  • The techniques will be described in work instructions and blogs, which will be published directly on Patreon and our own website. These will eventually be compiled into a comprehensive reference work.
  • Cooperation is sought with other crafts, such as tailors, couturiers and designers of home decoration for example.


moniquenwerk broderie d'art
Nieuwlandstraat 22