Feather-stitch is simply buttonholing in a slanting direction, first to the right side and then to the left, keeping the needle strokes in the centre closer together or farther apart according to the effect to be produced.
It owes its name, of course, to the more or less feathery effect resulting from its rather open character. Like buttonhole, it may be worked solid, as in the leaf and petal forms on the sampler, Illustration 25 (Feather-Stitch Sampler), but it is better suited to cover narrow than broad surfaces. The jagged outline which it gives makes it useful in embroidering plumage, but it is not to be confounded with what is called "plumage-stitch," which is not featherstitch at all, but a version of satin-stitch.
The feathery stem (A) on sampler is simply a buttonholing worked alternately from right to left and left to right.
The border line at B requires rather more explanation. Presume it to be worked vertically. Bring your needle out at the left edge of the band; put it in at the right edge immediately opposite, keeping your thread under the needle to the right;
To Work B
bring it out again still on the right edge a little lower down, and then, keeping your thread to the left, put the needle in on the left edge, opposite to where you last brought it out, and bring it out again on the same edge a little lower down.
The border at C is merely an elaboration of the above, with three slanting stitches on each edge instead of a single one in the direction of the band.
Bands D, E, F, G, are variations of ordinary featherstitch, requiring no further explanation than the back view of the work (26) affords. On the face of the sampler it will be noticed that lines have been drawn for the guidance of the worker. These are always four in number, indicating that the stitch is made with four strokes of the needle, and showing the points at which it is put in and out of the stuff.
In working G G, suppose four guiding lines to have been drawn as above - numbered, 1, 2, 3, 4, from left to right. Bring your needle out at the top of line I. Make a chain-stitch slanting downwards from line 1 to line 2. Put your needle into line 3 about 1/8th of an inch lower down, and, slanting it upwards,
The Working Of G G
On Feather-Stitch Sampler
To Work G G
bring it out on line 4, level with the point where you last brought it out. Make a chain-stitch slanting downwards, this time from right to left, and bring your needle out on line 3. Lastly, put your needle into line 2, 1/8th of an inch below the last stitch, and, slanting it upwards, bring it out on line 1.
Feather-stitch is not adapted to covering broad surfaces solidly, but may be used for narrow ones.
Oriental-Stitch is the name given to a close kind of feather-stitch much used in Eastern work. The difference between the two, at once apparent to the eye, is that, whereas for the mid-rib of a band or leaf of feather-stitching (25) you have cross lines, in Oriental-stitch (27) you have a straight line - longer or shorter as the case may be.
Oriental-stitch is sometimes called "Antique-stitch," and is a stitch in three strokes, just as feather-stitch is a stitch in four. It is usually worked horizontally, though shown upright on the sampler. Like feather-stitch (compare diagrams on pages 65 and 69), it is worked on four guiding lines, faintly visible on the sampler.
Stitches A, B, and C are worked in precisely the same way. Bring your needle out at the top of line 1. Keep the thread under your thumb to the right and put your needle in at the top of line 4, bringing it out into line 3 on the same level. Then put it in again at line 2, just on the other side of the thread, and bring it out on line 1 ready to begin the next stitch.
To Work A, B, C
It will be seen that the length of the central part (or mid-rib, as it was called above) makes the whole difference between the three varieties of stitch. In A the three parts are equal: in B the mid-rib is narrow: in C it is broad,
The Working Of A, B, C On Oriental-Stitch Sampler
as is most plainly seen on the back of the sampler (28). The difference is only a difference of proportion.
The sloping stitch at D is worked in the same way as A, B, C, except that instead of straight strokes with the needle you make slanting ones.
Stitch E differs from D in that the side strokes slant both in the same direction. It is worked from right to left instead of from left to right.
Stitch F is a combination of buttonhole and Oriental stitches. Between two rows of button-
To Work D
To Work E
To Work F
holing (dark on sampler) a single row of Oriental-, stitch is worked.
The stitch employed for the central stalk, G, has really no business on this sampler, except that it looks rather like a continuous Oriental-stitch.
Oriental-stitch is one of the stitches used in the mixed embroidery in Illustration 72 (Stitches In Combination).