Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Tutorial: Roumanian Stitch and Roumanian Couching Stitch

My Favourite Tutorial - post header
I think the Roumanian Stitch deserves a place in the spotlight as it's a versatile and very easy stitch. However I don't see it used very often. It's not exactly an obscure stitch, you will find it in many Embroidery Handbooks. Sometimes it's called the Roman Stitch, Antique Stitch and Oriental Stitch (and quite a few other names as well). Perhaps it's its simplicity that makes it not as interesting as more intricate stitches. I think, together with it's cousin the Roumanian Couching Stitch, it's a useful stitch to add to your repertoire!

Make a stitch. Let your needle come up just above the first stitch a little to the left (if you are left handed like me) or right (if you are right handed) of the middle.

Then make a small slanted stitch across the first stitch. It can be helpful to draw a line in the middle to keep your small stitches in a straight line.

You can vary the length of the 'long' stitch as I did in the photo above, the smaller stitches in the middle ought to be consistent in size though I think it's fun to experiment with those as well. This stitch is perfect for leafs or feather motifs.

Doodle cloth to try out different versions of the Roumanian Stitch
You can use different types of threads (I used perle cotton and regular embroidery floss for example) and vary the number of strands. In the two-toned pink leaf I did the Roumanian Stitch twice in different colours, leaving enough space initially to add the second colour. I think traditionally the stitches are placed closely together with no gaps showing, but I really like the 'open' effect when you keep some space between the stitches. In the green and blue feather shape on the left I combined the 'open' approach with a more densely stitch dot in the middle.

The Roumanian Couching Stitch is just a easy to master as the Roumanian Stitch and is a quick fill stitch with a nice 'woven' texture. For this stitch draw some guidelines on your fabric before you start, especially if you are trying it out for the first time.

Make a (large) stitch. Then make the slanted stitch across but instead of a tiny stitch, let it cover the whole middle bit of the first stitch as indicated in the photo.

I hope you've enjoyed getting to know the Roumanian Stitch and the Roumanian Couching Stitch and if you are using our tutorials please share photos of your work in the &Stitches Flickr group. We'd love to see it!

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