Embroidery stitches

Embroidery stitches

A spider's web is a composite stitch that creates a raised, circular shape. First a foundation of straight stitches is made, working outwards from one point, creating a spoked wheel-like design. Then another thread, sometimes of a different colour, is threaded in a circle, under and over the spokes of the wheel, starting from the centre and working outwards. There are various variants of making the spoked wheel.

The split chain stitch is a variation on a chain stitch, whereby the working thread is taken under the ground cloth, but instead of it coming up at the bottom of the loop, the point of the needle ‘splits’ the working thread. This type of stitch is used for free-style embroidery.

A split stitch (Fr: point fendu) is an embroidery technique that closely resembles the chain stitch. The split stitch is formed when the working thread, after a small straight stitch, is taken backwards underneath the ground cloth, but instead of coming up next to the thread on top (as in outline stitch and stem stitch), the point of the needle ‘splits’ the working thread, and the needle/thread is pulled through the split portion.

This stitch is very similar to the Algerian eyelet, but worked from the top right-hand corner in an anti-clockwise direction across an even number of threads. WV

A square fly stitch creates diamond shapes using two fly stitches. These diamonds may be left ‘empty’ or filled in using another stitch type, such as satin stitch or blanket stitch. This type of stitch is often used for free-style embroidery. GVE

The St George's cross stitch is a normal cross stitch, but placed on one leg, creating a 'plus' sign. See also the star filling stitch.

The stab stitch is often used in couching or laid work. The thread goes up, over the thread to be held in place, and then down through the same hole. The thread then passes along the reverse side of the ground material to the position of the next stitch.

The star filling stitch is a composite stitch that is worked with the St George's cross stitch and, on top, the 'normal' cross stitch, with all arms being of equal length.

The star stitch is a canvas embroidery stitch consisting of eight straight stitches, all worked into the same central mesh with their outer edges arranged together to form a star. The squares can be worked individually or in rows. This stitch is used in Hardanger work and drawn-thread work.

Stem stitch (also known as crewel stitch, point de cable or stalk stitch) is an embroidery technique creating a cabled effect along the line of the embroidery design.

The straight stitch (also known as stroke stitch) is a simple technique that consists of one or more single (isolated) stitches of various lengths and worked in the same or various directions.

Suga-nui is the Japanese term for the horizontal satin stitch. This technique is regarded as being part of the Kyo-nui ('Kyoto embroidery') tradition. WV

Sugizashi is the Japanese term for the cedar motif. WV

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