Stitches for Texture - a Study
Romanian Stitch - aka Roumainian and Rumanian
the first part of this discussion proceed
Couching Part One - Roman Stitch
to work, beautiful results. As in laid work, these stitches
can be used for large design areas not suitable for satin stitch. The
results create rich texture and interesting patterns, depending
upon how you employ them. You can also use them effectively in
medium-sized and small motifs as well as bands and borders.
General Directions: You
will need to use a hoop or frame to maintain constant tension.
The stitches show off to full advantage when used with medium
to heavy-weight threads. Pearl cotton 5 or 8 or Kanagawa silk
are excellent choices. Three strands of floss also show them
off to advantage. For fine work, one strand of floss or a fine
twisted silk works as well. Any ground is suitable, although
regionally, certain grounds were employed.
lengths of thread than you would ordinarily employ, otherwise
you will constantly have to begin and end threads.
extremely versatile stitch. Depending upon the angle, length,
and region where it used, it is called by several names: janina
stitch, figure stitch, oriental couching, antique couching, Indian
stitch (Mountmellick work). Dillmont states it came from
|In the above
leaf, note how the inner area was marked to keep the couching
stitches even. The needle comes out at the bottom of the motif,
and with thread kept to the left, put needle in at the top of
the motif and come back out about 1/8-inch below.
||Finish the couching stitch
by putting the needle back down a quarter inch or so and coming
back out at the bottom, ready to start the next stitch. Note
the ribbed effect of the finished stitches.
This is the Indian stitch used
in Mountmellick. It is a variation of Romanian stitch. Note the
long couching thread at the wide center area. The final appearance
is like velvet, slightly undulating, but the divisions are barely
The directions for this illustration came from
the Lacis reprint of the many Weldon's (UK) publication on the
subject of Mountmellick. Today, teachers in Ireland are recommending
that the true nature of this stitch in their work is less precise
for the couching in order to create a more natural flow, less
defined. The couching stitches should not all be the same length,
nor start and end at the same spot. See the following notes
on Romanian couching.
From Romanian stitch we advance
to the method known as Romanian couching. Here long threads
are laid across large motifs and long or medium length couching
threads are made, depending upon the final effect you want. When
worked to create a satiny "fill"
rather than a patterned fill, long couching is worked, picking
up just a few threads of the ground in between (from the Chinese,
known as figure stitch). In the example at left (altered slightly
from the original in the Ballentine Pattern Library),
the couching stitches are shorter - but not as tiny as in Bokhara.