Bullion Embroidery Tutorial

I love Bullion Embroidery.  I can remember sitting down with a friend of my mums when I was a teenager and learning the technique.  This woman was amazing – the work that she completed was the most delicate work that I have ever seen.

With an embroidery machine, the technique is a little different.  We firstly complete all of the “non raised/bullion” embroidery, before placing a piece of puffy foam on top of the fabric.  The stitches of the bullion work, or rose are formed on top of the puffy foam, giving it the raised appearance.


  1. The bullion look is achieved by using puffy foam to add shape and dimension.
  2. Use the best quality puffy foam you can find. I have tried many different brands over the years, and now stock this lovely foam.
  3. Select the colour of the foam to match up to the embroidery thread colour you are using.  If in doubt, go with a lighter colour foam than the embroidery.
The Tutorial
  1. As per normal embroidery, hoop your stabiliser and your embroidery fabric – ensuring that it is taunt.

  2. Set up your machine for embroidery, selecting the design you wish to embroider, and transfer it to your machine.

  3. Check the bullion embroidery colour guide for the colour stitch sequence,and where to place the puffy foam. The design I have selected has 4 colours:-
    – Blue
    – Green
    – Dark Yellow (Puffy Foam placement here)
    – Pale Yellow
  4. Embroider the first two colours as you normally would

  5. Take your puffy foam and lay it out on top of the design, where the flowers will be placed.

  6. Begin embroidering the flowers, gently holding down the puffy foam for the first couple of stitches.

  7. Once the embroidery is complete,trim closely around the puffy foam

  8. Remove the last of the puffy foam by gently applying heat and steam using an iron (don’t press down hard as this will compress the foam), and then tearing away the remainder of the foam.

  9. Once the last of the foam is removed,you are left with a gorgeous bullion inspired bouquet.

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