Kloster Stitch

Example of embroidery with the Kloster stitch. Example of embroidery with the Kloster stitch.

Kloster stitch is a form of couching used during the medieval period in Northern Europe (especially in what is now Germany). The Kloster stitch is especially associated with monastic establishments (known in German as a Kloster), hence the name of the stitch. It is a form of a single thread couching stitch, which is now also called Bokhara couching.

Care has to be taken as the Kloster stitch is sometimes referred to as Roumanian couching, but this is worked in a slightly different manner. Kloster stitch is made from a single, straight stitch placed across the ground material. The needle and thread emerge at one end and are then used to create small slanting stitches that hold down the long thread at regular intervals.

Kloster stitch was used in medieval Germany to produce wall and church panels and hangings that were totally covered in stitching, giving the effect of a solid, usually coloured, woven wall hanging. As a result such panels/hangings are often incorrectly referred to as tapestries, but it should be stressed that they are embroideries. 

Compare the Needles entry on an Osterteppich from Kloster Lüne, dated c. 1504.

In addition, Kloster stitch should not be confused with the kloster block (stitch), which is used for Hardanger embroidery and originated in Scandinavia.

Also known as: Bokhara couching; couching stitch; convent stitch


Digital source of illustration (retrieved 29 June 2016).


Last modified on Sunday, 26 March 2017 18:53
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