HNW - earliest cross stitch

Karen karen_larsdatter at
Tue Jan 16 10:15:21 PST 2001

Nancy/Ingvild wrote:

> What is the earliest documented example of cross stitch -- the one we
> know and use today, not the long-armed variety --- that anyone knows
> of?

Depends how close you want it to look like modern cross stitch, but
there are examples of crossed stitches on a early medieval Coptic
Egyptian embroidered roundel (in Schuette -- can't remember the panel
number) circa 6th or 7th century AD.

There are other examples dating from various points in the Middle Ages,
usually with cross stitch worked in conjunction with other stitches (as
is the case with the heraldic bits on the Syon Cope, or a 14th century
seal bag with a background worked in cross stitch and the foreground
worked in split stitch).  In most cases, you don't really see cross
stitch all by its lonesome until about the 16th century.

Dunno if it will help at all but the article I'd written for
"Tournaments Illuminated" on this topic a few years ago is at ... no
graphics on there, but I'd be happy to point you towards books that
would have good pictures of relevant pieces.


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