Stitches. - The withdrawing of either the warp or woof threads of a linen or cotton material within certain narrow bands or squares, and gathering together in groups the remaining threads by darning or with overcasting stitches, is one of the most modest forms of ornamental needlework. For table linen, pillow cases, towels and suchlike articles of every-day use, these unpretentious little patterns always seem right. Apart from the fitness of this unaffected kind of decoration, drawn thread work wears well, provided simple and not particularly open patterns are used. Some elaborate designs are produced in this class of needlework - in fact, it can be made as fine as delicate lace, and in this form it is frequently employed in the ornamentation of costumes. Drawn work, carried to a lace-like and dexterous stage, is dealt with in handbooks specially devoted to the work. On Plate No. 45 a significant type of design in lacis work (suitable for drawn work) is shown, and on Plate No. 47 a similar piece of ornament is given, and the method of working described on page 188. Of the banded or insertion group the one here shown claims the attention of the worker

Drawn Thread Work 99

Drawn Thread Border, from an old Egyptian Example.

on account of the unusual course adopted in edging the drawn work. The drawing has been prepared from an ancient Egyptian example in which the stitching is executed in two colours on a very loosely woven fabric. In order to make the diagram of the greatest use to the worker, the woven threads have been represented much more open than they are in the original; the solid black parts indicate the piercings.

This interesting fragment is worked in

Drawn Thread Work 100

1st Stitch.

Drawn Thread Work 101

Stitches for working the Edge of Drawn Thread Border.

the following manner. Threads are first removed to a depth of about 1/4 inch, and where the hem stitch is introduced in the usual way, the ancient embroideress has divided and secured the edge threads by a stitch which combines the "hem" and "back" stitches of ordinary plain sewing.

The accompanying diagram will show the two processes w h i c h form the stitch.

It will be seen that the needle was inserted in the drawn space, pointing obliquely upward. Four threads were taken upon it, counting upward, and four, counting from the right to left (stitch 1). Having drawn the needle and thread through, a horizontal stitch was made. For this the needle was inserted four threads to the right of its last point of exit, and brought up to this point again (stitch 2). At the end of the border two rows of this stitching appear, worked one within the other, and forming a little "brick" pattern. This, however, is not shown in the diagram.

Having secured the edges in this way, the worker darned the groups of threads in alternate masses of yellow and red. Starting at the edge of the border, she darned two groups of four threads together. Halfway across she included a third group, and darned the three together to the other edge. Then she passed her needle down the darning of the last group to the central point where it began, and worked back again to the first edge, connecting the undarned half with two more groups. Once more the needle was passed to the middle, and the unworked halves of the two last groups were darned together to the other edge.