Of the stitches commonly employed the most serviceable is Satin Stitch
Satin stitch, always more or less raised by an under-padding of stitches in the cross direction - " tracing " is the trade name for it. The longer the satin stitches, the more likely they are to open out or get loose and show the under-sewing. Broad
surfaces are therefore better broken up. A leaf, for example, that is too wide to be satisfactorily-worked in single stitches - they are always carried straight across the forms - is crossed by a double series of stitches, in which case (as in the rose leaves in Illustration 92 (Details Designed To Be Worked Chiefly In Short Satin Stitches)) the dip between the two stitches gives a well-defined mid-rib. The design, in short, is affected by the method of work, and the method of work should affect the design. The leaves above are deliberately designed to be worked in sufficiently short satin stitches.
The common ideal is always to make the design stand out as much as possible from the ground, and the relief is often excessive. Sufficient distinction between the ground and the pattern is all that is necessary, and that is easily got in quite low relief. Outlines (Illustration 91 (White Work On Linen)) are worked in satin stitch, sometimes over a cord, but more often over two or three strands of the same kind of thread that is afterwards used in working over them.
Another obvious way of getting over broader masses than it is convenient to work straight across in satin stitch, is to employ what is known as " long and short," or "plumage" stitch (they call it "feather" stitch in Belfast) which, as already explained (page 100), is only another form of satin stitch. It is in this way that the breasts of the birds are worked in Illustration 90 (White Work By James Jeffrey); but it is only in design of a rather ambitious kind that there is occasion for this; and it is not often that there is occasion for very ambitious design in white work. A more minute version of the stitch is used to suggest, for example, the texture of fur in the rendering of heraldic animals - which there is, artistically speaking, no need to do, though it may be occasionally advisable to work in the finest possible stitches.