[HNW] long stitch

Chris Laning claning at igc.org
Tue Feb 26 18:32:37 PST 2002

At 6:01 PM -0500 2/20/02, SNSpies at aol.com wrote:
>Hello to the list.
>Are there any list members who remember a popular needlepoint/embroidery
>stitch from the, oh, 70s and 80s called "long stitch"?  It was particular
>popular for doing wall hangings, and I believe it may have originated in the
>Scandinavian countries.  Is there any chance that someone on this list has a
>book or instructions on this technique hidden deep in a file or basement?  I
>would be eternally and embarrassingly grateful for any help with this.  You
>understand, of course, that in a fit of cleaning frenzy many years ago, I
>threw away just such a book.  And of course, I can not tell my husband
>because he would spend the rest of our married life chortling and saying "I
>told you so!" which would just be so unbearable.

Hi Nancy --

I have some 30-year-old catalogs from a place in Denmark that show
the modern version of this, namely Upright Gobelin. This indeed is a
counted-thread needlepoint technique on canvas, in wool, and all the
stitches are the same length, which means most of the motifs are

However I've also seen pictures worked in long strands of silk, which
use upright and horizontal stitches for various parts of the design.
I was astounded to find at least one such picture that dates from
around 1650 -- I had always thought of it as associated with the
"mourning pictures" of the late 18th century.

The picture I have in front of me is from p.38 of _The Embroiderer's
Story_ by Thomasina Beck, and shows a scene of people in
Cavalier-style clothing eating and drinking around a table, with a
little dog under the table knawing bones. The figures are mostly in
vertical stitches, each area of color outlined in black (backstitch,
perhaps?). The background is either very smooth horizontal stitches
or a background satin fabric in dull gold -- I can't tell from the

Unfortunately, since this isn't a book about stitch techniques,
there's no information about the embroidery other than the caption,
"Jollity at dinner in a picture in laid silks, c.1650." There are
also no specific sources given for any of the photos, since the photo
acknowledgements in the back are merely a list of sources and don't
say which pictures come from where. The bibliography does recommend a
book or two that might be worth following up: _Embroidered Stuart
Pictures_ by Margaret Swain (a 1990 Shire Publications booklet), and
_Embroidery 160-1700 at the Burrell Collection_ by Liz Arthur (John
Murray, 1995).

This may be a bit more historical than you had in mind :)
O    Chris Laning
|     <claning at igc.org>
+    Davis, California

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