Cretan Stitch

Also known as: Persian stitch, Long-armed feather stitch

This stitch is used as a filling stitch, especially in crewel embroidery. Various effects can be produced by altering the angle of the stitches or even closing them in or opening them out. This stitch can be worked from top to bottom, left to right, or even right to left, based on convenience and requirement.

I will be working top to bottom, between four stitch lines A, B, C, D to illustrate this stitch and its variations.

Fig 1: Bring the needle out through B. Take the needle in through D and out through C. D should be slightly below the point in B. Now keeping the thread under the needle, pull the needle out. Fig 2: Now, repeat the process on the other half. Take the needle in through A, bring it out from B, and keeping the thread under the needle, pull it out. Make sure A is slightly below D.
Fig 3: Keep repeating this process on either sides. A finished pattern shoudl look like this. I have spaced it out slightly more to show the features clearly.
Variation 1: This is a variation to show the slight visual change made by making the two stitch lines in the centre spaced apart. That is, B and C are spaced far off.
Variation 2: This illistration shows a variation where there are only three stitch lines A,B,C.
The stitches in the centre fall on either side of the stitch line B, bringing out a different visual effect. The stitch technique, however, remains the same.
Variation 3: This illustration shows how a pattern can be filled using the cretan stitch.
It also demonstrates a different visual effect by altering the slant in the stitches.
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13 Responses

  1. October 21, 2015

    […] Cretan stitch – used for leaves. […]

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