Surprisingly, the upright cross-stitch, which resembles the common plus sign, has been either ignored or overlooked in many reference books on needlework stitches. Little information other than the traditional how-to-stitch diagrams is available. The stitch is also called the straight stitch and St. George’s cross-stitch (the banner of St. George is a red cross of […]

Read More >

A Stitch in Time: The Velvet Stitch

The velvet stitch, consisting of a cross-stitch and a loop, is a counted-thread stitch most often used in canvas work. Known by a variety of names—Astrakhan, Astrakhan velvet, Berlin plush, plush, raised, rug, and tassel—velvet stitches produce a raised surface of loops that may be left intact or cut; if cut, the stitches resemble velvet […]

Read More >

A Stitch in Time: Sienese Stitch

Named for the lovely Italian city of Siena, the Sienese (Siennese) stitch is an easy, wide-line stitch in the generic looped-stitch family. The first examples of this stitch and the resulting distinctive Sienese embroidery were shown at the Siena Samples Fair in 1921. At the same time, Maria Martini Mari, then president of the National […]

Read More >

The versatile Vandyke or Van Dyke stitch is a variable-width stitch with a distinctive, centrally raised plait or braid. It is rather unique among embroidery stitches because it does not have multiple names. It does have, however, a number of variations that deal with leg length and spacing of the stitches. The Vandyke stitch (which […]

Read More >

A Stitch in Time: The Knitting Stitch

The knitting stitch, a double row of straight stitches slanting in opposite directions, forms a solidly stitched, braidlike pattern on a canvas or fabric surface, and resembles true knitting. Other names for the knitting stitch include kalem, kelim, kilim, knit, knitting gobelin, and tapestry. Kelim is the Turkish word for “prayer rug,” and kalem and […]

Read More >

The tête de boeuf (commonly referred to as head of the bull, although a direct translation from the French is “head of beef”) stitch, which also goes by the names of ox head and detached wheat ear, presents much confusion to those who wish to explore its origins. As I reviewed my present-day reference books […]

Read More >