Stitches Used in Frame Embroidery
Feather Stitch.—In framework, as in handwork, we restore the ancient name of Feather work or stitch—Opus Plumarium. We have already said that it was so-called from its likeness to the plumage of a bird.
This comes from the even lie of the stitches, which fit into and appear to overlap each other, presenting thus a marked contrast to the granulated effect of tent stitches, and the long ridges of the Opus Anglicum, having no hard lines as in stem stitch, or flat surfaces as in satin stitch.
Feather stitch, when worked in a frame, is exactly the same as that worked in the hand, except that it is more even and smooth. The needle is taken backwards and forwards through the material in stitches of varying lengths; the next row always fitting into the vacant spaces and projecting beyond them, so as to prepare for the following row.
Every possible gradation of colour can be effected in [Pg 38] this way, and it applies to every form of design—floral or arabesque. Natural flowers have mostly been worked in this stitch.
A skilful embroiderer will be careful not to waste more silk than is absolutely necessary on the back of the work, while, at the same time, she will not sacrifice the artistic effect by being too sparing of her back stitches.