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Metallized yarns

Hi all,

I’m a student of Textile Design, and doing my PFC (Final Carrer
Project). I’d like to develop a collection of pieces woven and Knitted
with metallized yarns. Are there any works, documents, books,
researches about it? I would be very grateful if anyone could help me.

Kind regards,

Alison Bailey Smith, Ontario, Canada crochets unique wearable art
from recycled metal wires taken from old television sets and other
found objects. Her work is very special.

Hello - I don’t know if there was a catalog produced, but I recently
saw an exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art of new
Japanese textiles. There were some fascinating yarns and fabrics with
aluminum, copper and steel included.


Looks like the URL I provided won’t open. Go to and
look for Alison Bailey Smith in their artists index.

Oscar, I don’t know if you have ever heard of Arlene Fisch but she
has two books out ( probably more, I have only two) one is called
Textile Techniques IN Metal and the other one is Elegant Fantasy. The
first one naturally gives you the instructins for knitting and
crocheting with wire, plus weaving etc in metal, you might find it
helpful to you. The second one is a wonderfu presentation of her
works, which are on display here in the museum in San Diego until the
end of the month. I was fortunate enough to buy one of her wire
bracelets, which I thought was a very good price. Karen in El
Cajon, Ca

Dear Grant & Marianne,

I found Alison Bailey’s work very interesting, as you recommend me,
and I think it would help me a lot with my research. I will try to get
in touch with her.

Many thanks,
Best regards,

Hi Karen,

I’ll be visting my parents in sunny El Cajon in August, so
unfortunately I’ll miss Arlene Ficsh’s show. Please tell me which
museum is showing her work, as I know they would like to see it–she
was my professor at SDSU and we greatly admire her work!

–Kathleen in San Francisco

Oscar, what kind of “metallized yarns” do you mean? Are you
researching historical or contemporary textiles?

Metallic yarns used in the past (late Gothic & Renaissance) were
mostly made by wrapping strips of very thin gold or silver foil around
a fiber core. These threads were very popular for embroidery and
lacemaking. Unfortunately, there is no publication dedicated just to
this topic. Information is scarce and scattered through numerous
books. There is very few samples left, because the textiles were
usually destroyed in order to recycle the precious metal. If this is
what you are interested in, I can recommend some books on historical

If you are researching contemporary metallized yarns, it is a very
vibrant filed at the moment, with many companies using the latest
technology in production of machine made textiles. French, Italian and
Swiss companies produce the most fantastic metallic lace (I specialize
in traditional handmade lace, which was always considered superior to
machine made varieties, but think that we are witnessing quite a
revolution now. Machine-made lace is breaking free and expanding to
unknown territories.) Internet search should give some good leads in
this direction.

And then, there are people who use metal (wire) in traditional
textile techniques, like weaving, knitting, lacemaking… They are
scarce and scattered around the world :slight_smile: You can find some of them in
Fiberarts Design Book Six, published in 1999 by Lark Books.


Silver Pin Studio - Art of Handmade Lace

Hi Oscar!

I’m one of those people that uses textile techniques with metal. I
knit with wire, primarily using a spool-knitting technique that dates
back to the use of a lucet in 10th century Scandinavia.

I also saw the new Japanese textile exhibit that someone referred to
when it was at the Akron Art Museum. There were some fascinating
textiles made of stainless steel that were extremely soft and supple.
I’d love to get my hands on some of that to work with!

Sharon Beadecked and Beaddicted Akron, OH