Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Order Questions

Why is there a TEMP transaction on my credit card or PayPal account?

When you place an order and pay with your credit card or via PayPal your payment will be authorized for the order but not charged.

Once I have checked that I have your complete order in stock I will approve the payment. If I have less in stock I will change your orders’ total before I approve it.

The transaction description will be BERLIN EMBROIDERY CALGARY.


Do you have a catalogue?

I do not have a catalogue of my kits or merchandise because I am continually adding to the supplies that I offer and it would be too costly to update the catalogue that frequently. All the products I carry are featured on my website.

Products on my Website

Do you supply kits by other designers?

I only sell kits designed and made by myself.

Do you have any cross-stitch designs?

I have a series of cross-stitch designs that incorporate blackwork embroidery.

Do you carry a specific design?

If a design is not featured on my website, then I’m sorry, I do not have it.

Do you offer discounts?

Each month, I offer a special price kit or a discount, I also periodically email out special discount coupons. Please Join my Mailing List for notifications of my sales and to receive special discount coupons.

About my Kits

Can I purchase just the instructions for the kit?

Yes, you can purchase the instructions on their own.

Instructions for each kit range from $15.00 to $30.00 depending on the depth of information in the instructions. The disadvantages of purchasing the instructions, alone, is that the design will not be hand-drawn onto the fabric by me and the threads will not be organized on the cardboard template and numbered. You can email me with your request to purchase the instruction booklet on its own.

Do you offer any help or advice with the kits purchased?

Yes, if there are any questions about the kit you purchased, (e.g. the embroidery stitch that you are working on), or if you are concerned about whether the embroidery is looking right, you can email me your questions and pictures of your embroidery as you are stitching it, and I will answer all your queries.

As I have embroidered each of the designs featured on my website myself, I have first-hand knowledge of how the embroidery should be worked and how it should look. I am more than willing to share my expertise.

How do I thread the embroidery needle?

Please visit my embroidery tips page for instructions on how to thread the embroidery needle.

How do I clean my needlework?

I describe a very general cleaning method on my embroidery tips page for needle painting and cross-stitch, but if you are looking to clean vintage embroidery or dimensional embroidery such as goldwork and stumpwork, I would strongly suggest contacting a needlework conservation centre for advice on cleaning.

Metal Thread Questions

What colour metal threads do you sell?

I sell 2% WM gold, gilt, silver and copper in nearly all the threads that I carry.

I also sell other colours such as, red, blue, green, etc, in the Japan threads, passing threads, pearl purls, rough purls and wire check purls. Please visit my products pages to see what I have in stock.

What is the difference between Gold 2% WM and Gilt?

Gold 2% WM is the highest standard gold thread that can be purchased for goldwork. There is 2% gold in the plating covering white metal (WM).

Gilt threads have ½ % of gold in the plating covering copper.

Gold 2% WM is a brighter and truer in colour to real gold. Some gold 2% WM threads are be a bit firmer than the gilt threads.

The gold 2% WM threads and gilt threads that I sell are excellent quality and will tarnish at the same rate.

Can I get pure gold embroidery threads?

I do not have pure gold embroidery threads, I do not think there is a company that makes pure gold threads, as the gold would probably be too soft to be made into embroidery threads and would kink or break. It would also be very expensive.

Will the metal threads tarnish?

Yes the gold 2% WM, gilt, silver and copper embroidery threads will tarnish if exposed to continued spells of direct sunlight and air, because oxides and/or sulfides in the air settle on the surface of the metal thread and cause it to turn dark brown or black over a period of time.

The only metal threads that I supply that do not tarnish are DMC Metallic Embroidery Thread Light Gold No. 282, Standard Lurex Threads, No. 13 Passing Threads, Japanese Threads, Kreinik Cords and Kreinik #4 Braids, all of which are all synthetic threads.

If you are beginning a new piece of embroidery, the best way to decrease tarnishing is to keep the embroidery wrapped in acid-free tissue paper or a sheet and stored in a dark place, such as cupboard when you are not working on the embroidery.

The threads that are being used to work the embroidery should also be stored in the same dark place as the embroidery, in acid-free bags or tissue paper. This is to ensure that that the metal threads will all tarnish at the same rate.

The finished embroidery should be mounted on an acid-free board and displayed behind glass in a box frame so the metal threads are not touching the glass and displayed on a wall without direct sunlight so the threads will tarnish at a slower rate.

All metal threads will eventually tarnish.

Can I clean metal threads?

I do not think there is an effective way to clean the tarnish off metal threads.

If you are beginning a new piece of embroidery then see “Will the metal threads tarnish?” above, on how to decrease the rate of tarnishing.

Can the metal threads be used for garments?

The metal threads that I sell are designed for pictorial design and for very occasional wear such as with re-enactment clothing (traditionally the threads were used for coats of arms, military parade garments and ceremonial garments).

The metal threads are not suitable for mass producing on clothing, as the threads will distort, crack and tarnish when washed or worn on a regular basis.

Can the metal threads be used for making jewelry?

The metal threads are not strong enough to be used for making earrings, necklaces and bracelets unless it is a pendant-style piece of jewelry in which the metal threads are couched down onto a supporting piece of felt or fabric.

Most of the metal threads will tarnish when exposed to direct sunlight and the oxides in the air.

You can paint a pendant-style piece of jewelry with a non-yellowing clear varnish to protect the metal threads from tarnishing, as long as there is no fabric that the varnish could stain.

The Kreinik Cords and Kreinik #4 Braids may be suitable for stringing beads and the metal threads can be used for making broaches.

Can the metal threads be used with a sewing machine?

The only threads that I carry that can be used with a sewing machine are the Kreinik gold or silver No. 1 Japan thread and the Kreinik silver and carnival cords. All the other metal threads are for hand embroidery.

Do you sell the metal threads wholesale?

I am sorry, I do not sell the metal threads wholesale.

Do you carry a certain metal thread?

All the metal threads that I have in stock are on my website. If you require a different metal thread, please email me and I will see if I can order it from the manufacturer.

Should I use a supporting fabric?

It is a good idea to use a muslin (calico) supporting fabric behind your ground fabric when working goldwork because the embroidery can be dense and cause the fabric to pucker. It also offers more support when taking ends of the metal threads to the back of the work.

How do I calculate the amount of threads for a project?

This is how I calculate the amount of thread required for a project, although there is a bit of guess work involved.

  • Draw or print an outline of your design to the size you want to work the project.
  • Decide which thread you want to use in each section of the design. Refer to the Metal Thread Information Page and the Metal Thread Product Pages for the types and sizes of the metal threads.
  • Once you have decided on the metal threads, draw lines onto the design, indicating the metal thread that you will be using in each section. Try to draw the lines at the spacing you think the metal thread will take up. I have provided pictures with the metal threads set against a ruler, so you can see how wide the metal thread is and so you have some idea of how many lines of metal thread you will require in a section.
  • Take a piece of string and line the string along all the lines for the metal thread section and then measure the piece of string with a measuring tape to see how long a piece of metal thread you will require. If you are working a section in bullion thread, you will have many short lines next to each other. You will have to measure each individual line with the string, or estimate by measuring one short line and counting how many of the same-length short lines you have and multiplying it by the length of the short line.
  • Allow extra thread for ends that are taken to the back of the work (check thread, flatworm, Japan, large back, passing thread, rococco, standard lurex thread, twists). Also allow extra for bullion threads, as there is a percentage of wastage when you are cutting the thread to the required lengths.
  • I suggest ordering enough metal threads for your entire project because the manufacturing batches of the metal threads can vary in colour and you may not get an exact match the next time you order.

Other Questions

Do you have store outlets for your kits?

In general, I only sell my kits over the internet, at my classes and from my home. This is to keep the cost of the kits down and because I have first-hand knowledge of each design, so if there are any questions about the embroidery I can answer them directly rather than going through a supplier.

Do you do machine embroidery?

No all my designs are worked by hand and I do not do any custom machine embroidery.

Do you do monogramming?

I do not do custom monogramming on clothing as it is very time consuming by hand. The best option for monogramming on clothing is to approach a machine embroiderer. Machine embroidery on clothing is much more durable and inexpensive.

Do you conserve or repair embroideries?

I trained in embroidery conservation and restoration at the Royal School of Needlework, in England but it has been several years since I actively worked in this area. I recommend contacting a restoration center or museum in your area that may have professionals who specialize in embroidery conservation and restoration.

Are you taking on commission work?

I am currently not taking on any commission work for embroideries or for personalized kits.