Embroidery Stitch (fig. 24A), Long-and-short Stitch, or Feather Stitch (Opus Plumarturn). - So called from its supposed resemblance to the plumage of a bird. Long-and-short stitch and embroidery stitch are the terms commonly applied, and as it is the most universal form of stitching in solid and particularly in shaded embroidery, there seems little reason to quarrel with these names, which do serve to distinguish the stitch from ordinary satin stitch, although it is closely related to it. The system of working a long and a short stitch, carried alternately well in between each other, yields quite a different result to that obtained by satin stitch proper. Long-and-short stitch is the most useful for shaded work - it enables the embroiderer to get delicate gradations of colour; whereas in satin stitch a line of division is made by each group of stitches. When the dove-tail method is adopted the breaking into the previous row of stitches does not do away with the marked dividing line. With respect to the other name, "feather stitch," this is used by old writers in describing the stitch. An admirable feathery quality can be produced by its use in fine silk. A drawing is given on page 268 of what is more commonly accepted as feather stitch. To the seamstress this is very familiar. On the two examples of smock (Plates No. 55 and 56), the whole of the decoration outside the smocking is worked in this stitch.

Stitches 112

The Seamstress's Feather Stitch.

Plate. No. 62.

Stitches 113

Plate No. 62.

Fig. 25 is only the foundation stitch on which figs. 26, 27, and 28 are all worked. It consists of two rows of chain stitches, the meshes of which are opposite to each other, and through which long, straight crossbars are worked. These three also are taken from the example on Plate No. 33, and could be worked in a hard, strongly glazed thread. They would be effective in purse silk.

Fig. 26. - Two of the bars are taken together on which to make this stitch. It has the effect of long, chain-like meshes down the centre, whilst the thread is whipped round twice, or, if necessary, thrice, on each side. After the foundation has been made, all the succeeding stitches, A to G, are worked on the surface. Stitch A, which seems to be too evident, and which must not show when the whole is done, goes backwards behind the large loop as soon as E is worked.

Fig. 27. - These straight brick stitches are also worked on the surface over the cords, but it is as well now and then to carry one through the material to keep them steady and straight.

Fig. 28. - These stitches are on the slope, and are worked up and then down the bars, first behind two bars and then behind one; then, to form the next group, behind two, behind one, and so on.

Plate No. 63.

Stitches 114

Plate No. 63.

Fig. 29. - Also a form of bricking, the stitches being only over the crossbars. It is worked in two colours, the stitches set obliquely. One shade is carried all the way round, following the outer shape, then the second all round, and so on, using the shades alternately.

Fig. 30 is again a brick stitch worked through the material, the crossbars being used only to raise it and keep the stitches even. It is done in two shades of thread, two rows of each ; but the two rows are done at once, as will be seen by the enlarged diagram, where both back and front are given. The thread goes behind two, behind one, behind two, behind three, this last being to regain the lower line so as to be ready to go behind two, behind one again.

Fig. 31. - This stitch, like most of the others in two colours, is taken from the example on Plate No. 33. First attach the six or eight long threads at the top, and stitch down to the narrow places, then put the long stitch across the width of the border. The third time down makes the knot as at A, then at B, the wide place, pulling out the thread to the full width ; the second part of the knot, as at B, is to pull the knot over upon the top of the band, so as to have the thread in place below the line for the second knot.

Figs. 32 and 33 are two rather similar borders, though worked differently. In fig. 32 the uprights hardly show when done, and are really to raise the stitch.

Fig. 33. - A and C go through the material, whilst B only goes under the thread in both journeys.

Plate No. 64.

Stitches 115

Plate No. 64.

Fig. 34 is really a sort of Oriental or herring-bone in alternate colours, worked across on two parallel lines over and under so that all the silk is on the surface. The needle always points towards the centre.

Fig. 35. - Two rows of chain stitch, which are whipped together with a contrasting colour, or in two shades of the same colour. The second colour or tint only passes under the inside of the meshes, and not through the ground.

Figs. 36 and 37 are similar in effect ; but fig. 36 is done on crossbars, and towards the worker, whilst fig. 37 is on upright bars, and worked away from the worker.

To produce fig. 36 with alternate rows in different colours: after making a chain stitch, loop B over two bars, put the needle up behind two bars C, and bring it out in the centre of the next loop. This, if worked with four or five loops only, can be padded underneath the bars to look round and raised.

Fig. 37. - A makes the first half of the mesh, B the second, and at the same time connects it with the next, in the centre of which the needle comes out. Two rows are worked in one colour, and then change.

Fig. 38. - The two shades are worked in alternate descending lines. B must always go over one bar lower than A has done.

In Figs. 34 to 38 the silk is in every case on the surface of the material.

Plate No. 65.

Fig. 39 is formed by a "Y"-shaped stitch, like fig. 38, and also similar to fig. 11, only that it is for a border, and in two colours ; hence the stitch B has to descend low enough to allow space for the second shade. The outline to the border could be either stem stitch or a fine cord.

Fig. 40. - This worked in two or more colours is very effective, owing to the interlacing of the threads. Three loops are done in each colour. A goes through the material, whilst B is always looped through the previous one, and goes under the silk only.

Figs. 41 and 42 are both worked on an open herring-bone foundation, fig. 41 having a buttonhole edge, and fig. 42 a stem stitch one.

In fig. 41 the herring-bone is whipped with a second shade, which passes only under the silk, the needle always being at right angles to the long stitch under which it has to pass.

In fig. 42 the knot is made round the crossed portion of the herring-bone. In knotting the silk at A, which comes under and over the needle, starting from right to left; in B over and under the needle also, but from the left to the right.