19 March 2006

Stitches Used in Sweetbag

Lia asked about the stitches used in making the sweet bag.

There are three main stitches used in the majority of sweetbags. The first is tent stitch. This is used for the coloured silk elements, usually flowers and insects, favourite motifs of the Elizabethan embroiderer. The second is some sort of braid stitch. This is used for the stems, worked in gold thread. There is great debate about what stitches are used for this section. The current thinking is that a form of plaited braid stitch is the most common, but other braid or plait stitches were also used. The third stitch is some sort of gobelin stitch, used for the silver thread that forms the backdrop of the design. When looking at some photos of sweetbags, this often looks black or purple, where the silver thread has tarnished.

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