Schematic drawing of a form of couching. Schematic drawing of a form of couching. Drawing by Martin Henze.

Couching is an embroidery technique in which laid threads are placed on the surface of the ground material. The laid threads are then fastened down with a separate thread (couching thread) using small tying down couching stitches (often an individual overcast stitch).

This form is frequently used for a line, outline or border. The couching threads may be of the same colour as the laid threads or in a contrasting tone. If more than one line is laid on the ground material, then this technique can be used to cover large areas of ground material relatively quickly, especially if the laid threads are relatively thick. This technique is often (incorrectly) called laidwork.

Couching can be found in many parts of the world, including Europe, India, Indonesia, Japan and the Middle East.

See also the TRC Needles entry on Hans Holbein the Younger and couching.

Source: THOMAS, Mary (1934). Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches, London: Hodder and Stoughton, p. 57, fig. 85.


Last modified on Saturday, 13 May 2017 09:00
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