Persian Border Couching tutorial

Persian Border Couching is an interesting couching stitch, that could be used on the edges of items or simply worked row upon row to build up a fill pattern. Despite the name, I am not sure this stitch is actually from “Persia” or Iraq and Iran but that is how this stitch is named in Anne Butler’s Batsford Book of Embroidery Stitches.

For a contemporary twist, you could use novelty threads either on the top or even as part of the foundation threads. You could also incorporate beads along the way to add extra zest.

How to work Persian Border Couching

In Persian Border Couching you use 3 different threads: a foundation thread, a couched thread and a working thread that secures the couched thread. In the illustrations below I have used a purple foundation thread, the couched thread is yellow silk and to secure the couched thread to the fabric I used a yellow sewing cotton for my working thread.

Persian Border Couching step1First lay a few lines of straight stitches that you will couch over.

Persian Border Couching step 2Bring the thread you are going to couch up from the back of the fabric.
Persian Border Couching step 3Take the thread that you are going to couch across the top of the foundation stitches. Bring your working thread up from the back of the fabric and with a little tacking stitch secure the couched thread to the fabric. As you make the tacking stitch pass the needle under the fabric. Have it emerge on the opposite edge of the foundation stitches. Wrap the couching thread under the needle. Make a tacking stitch to secure the couched thread.

Note if the wrapping then tacking feels awkward, simply hold the couching thread with your thumb while tacking it into place. Wrapping the couching thread under the needle gave the couched thread a nice loop but it did feel it was awkward at times.

Persian Border Couching step 4Continue, by passing the needle with the working thread under the fabric again and wrap the couching thread under the needle to make your next tacking stitch.

Persian Border Couching step 5Continue down the line of foundation stitch zig zaging the couching thread across them. Once you have the couching process established try the double band.

How to work Persian Border Couching with two lines of foundation stitches.

In Anne Butler’s Batsford Book of Embroidery Stitches Persian Border Couching was illustrated with a set of two foundation rows.  This is how it is done.

Persian Border Couching step 6Make two sets of foundation stitches.

Persian Border Couching step 7Work 4 or 5 of the couched stitches then take your couched stitches across both sets of foundation stitches to the bottom line as illustrated.

Persian Border Couching step 8Work 4 or 5 couched stitches, then move to the upper line of foundation stitches. Continue along the rows in this manner to create the Persian Border Couching

Below is a sample sheet of some of the threads you can couch using Persian Border Couching

Novelty threads that can be used for couching Persian Border Couching Variation

At one point I thought it would be easier to simply work a line of offset running stitches along both sides of the foundation stitches and lace your top thread.
Here is sample worked that way.

Persian Border Couching variety
This variety of Persian Border Couching would work for a thread that was smooth, or with a good twist such a cotton perle #5 or #3. Many of the metallic threads can be laced easily too.  But this lazy woman method would not work for any of the bumpy, hairy or novelty threads.

Please note in Anne Butler’s Batsford Book of Embroidery Stitches the stitch is photographed with 2 rows of 2 foundation threads. I have worked my samples over 4 lines of threads to illustrate the stitching process. In the second set, I worked a double band over 2 rows of 3 foundation stitches. This is done mainly so that the photograph would be easily understood by readers. I also think it does not matter how many threads you couch over, as couching has always been an adaptable technique.

Persian Border Couching is an interesting stitch that I will be exploring more. If any of my readers have another published reference for this stitch or know it by another name I would love to hear about it. Please leave a comment and let me know.

 

Have you seen my book?

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My book The Visual Guide to Crazy Quilting Design: Simple Stitches, Stunning Results  shares detailed practical methods on how to design and make a crazy quilt. Topics such as fabric choice, tricky challenges like balancing colour, texture and pattern, and how to create movement to direct your viewers eye around the block are covered in detail. I also explain how to stitch and build decorative seam treatments in interesting and creative ways. My book is profusely illustrated as my aim is to be practical and inspiring.

using my stitchers Templates set 2Stitchers templates

My templates aim to help you take your stitching to the next level. Designed by an embroiderer for embroiderers. With them you can create hundreds of different hand embroidery patterns to embellish with flair. These templates are easy to use, made of clear plastic so you can position them easily and are compact in your sewing box.

These are simple to use. You simply position the template in place and use a quilter’s pencil to trace along the edge of the template. Stitch along this line to decorate the seam. I have a free ebook of patterns to accompany each set which illustrates how they can be used.

TO ORDER your Stitchers Templates

Crazy Quilt Templates set 1 you will find here 
Crazy Quilt Templates set 2 you will find here 

 

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How to hand embroider Sailors Edge Stitch

Sailors Edge stitch and Sailors Stitch are similar. I think Sailors Edge Stitch is a variety of Sailors stitch as the main hand motions required to make the stitch are the same.  They are a good example of  how if you change one hand movement in the process it can totally change the look and usage of a stitch. I found this version in The Batsford Encyclopedia of Embroidery Stitches by Ann Butler.

 

How to work Sailors Edge Stitch

Work is stitch down a vertical line from top to bottom.

sailors edge stitch how to illustration

Have your needle emerge at the top-of-the-line. Move it down the line and take a small bite of the fabric as illustrated.

sailors edge stitch how to illustrationWith your needle pointing left keep the thread under the needle tip pull the needle through so you have a small buttonhole stitch.

sailors edge stitch how to illustrationInsert your needle at the base of the buttonhole stitch with the needle tip emerging at the other side of the buttonhole as illustrated. Wrap your thread under the needle as you would a chain stitch and pull the needle through.

sailors edge stitch how to illustrationContinue down the line in this manner.

As you work hold each loop on to the fabric with your left thumb (if you are right handed)  until the little chain stitch anchors it.

sailors edge stitch how to illustrationAs you can see it is quite easy to work and as a result it is a quick edging stitch. If you vary the tension of the thread between each buttonhole you will produce a looped edge.

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How to work Whipped Double Chain Stitch

Whipped Double Chain stitch is a variety of Chain stitch. You need to know how to hand embroider basic chain stitch as this variety is worked on a foundation of two rows of chain stitch. If you need a refresher you will find a tutorial for chain stitch here.

Whipped Double Chain stitch is useful if you want a very dramatic strong line that is still capable of following a curve easily.

How to work Whipped Double Chain Stitch

Double Whipped chain stitch 1Work two rows of chain stitch a little looser than normal as the row will tighten slightly  as you whip it. If the foundation rows are too tight the work will pucker. Make sure the chain stitches are sitting side by side and are the same size

Double Whipped chain stitch 2Bring your whipping thread out at the start, in the middle of both rows. Pass your needle under the two loops of the chain stitch that sit side by side, in the middle of the row as illustrated. Pull your needle through. Take care not to pick up any of the fabric and use a blunt-ended tapestry needle to avoid splitting the foundation stitches.

Double Whipped chain stitch 3Continue whipping the centre stitches along the line. As you can see it produces an attractive result!

If you have enjoyed Whipped Double Chain stitch you may also like to see the tutorial on Whipped chain stitch . There are two varieties in this tutorial and both create a raised line that can be used to emphasise a shape but is not as strong as whipped double chain stitch. So if you are looking for texture that is slightly softer check out that tutorial too.

Crazy quilt template set 2 Have you seen my Stitchers Templates?

As someone who loves crazy quilting and embroidery I designed these templates with other stitchers in mind. With my templates you can create hundreds of different patterns to apply to your stitching and crazy quilting projects. They are easy to use, totally clear so you can position them easily and they are compact in your sewing box.

Templates set 1 you will find here 
Templates set 2 you will find here 

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You can have Pintangle delivered to your inbox by using the follow feature in the sidebar. Just enter your email address, and when you get the confirmation email make sure you say yes and you are all set!
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