Stitch Diagrams Of Some of the Basic Stitches Used in the Middle/Near East

Appliqué: Period pieces found in Egypt and Persia, used extensively in area as a form of decoration both in large and small objects. Appliqué is more of a style than one particular stitch, in fact several stitches can be used. Buttonhole and slip stitch are the most common. Persian – Resht

Blackwork or two-way outlining using a Running stitch.

Buttonhole stitch / Blanket Stitch: Another of the basic stitches, and found all over the area.

Buttonhole or Blanket stitch

Chain Stitch: The chain stitch was used all over the area of the Near and Middle East. One of the firsts stitches seen in embroidery with Pattern Darning and Satin Stitch. There are many variation of this stitch such as Open Chain and Fly. A version of the Fly stitch used a lot in Bedouin embroidery in the Arbaa – Threaded Fly


Basic Chain and Open Chain stitch
Fly Stitch

Fly Stitch

Threaded Fly Stitch

Couching: Used in many cultures as a stitch to make the most out of a small amount of expensive thread. Found using Metal, Silk, Cotton and Wool threads



Cross stitch and Long arm Cross stitch

Cross-stitch: Used more for individual motifs and patterns than as a fill as now. Still is very popular stitch on the Saudi peninsula. Found both in Long Arm version and standard versions.

Herringbone Stitch: Variations of this stitch are found all over the area such as the Cretan stitch.

Herringbone stitch Cretan stitch

Metal Work: Marco Polo praised Persian metal embroideries in 13th century. The earliest example of Persian embroidery, known to us at this time, is a coat embroidered in metal threads in satin stitch. Turkey has a multitude of examples of metal embroidery dating from pre-17th Century time period.

Needle Weaving: This could tie for the oldest stitch with Pattern Darning, examples have been found in Egypt dating back to the Pharoses.

Needle weaving

Openwork (Drawn-thread and Pulled Work) Period examples found in Egypt dating to 12th and 13th centuries. Still common in embroideries found in Iran, Turkey and areas of India.

Drawn-thread or Hemstitch Pulled work

Outline stitch / Stem Stitch: Another one of the basic stitches. It is found in multiple cultures.

Pattern Darning: This has to be the earliest stitch known to history.

Quilting: Found in all over area used as a way to strengthen fabric and for added warmth in colder climates. Another style of needlework, the two most common stitches used were Back stitch and Running stitch

Satin stitch: Another of the Basic stitches. Used mainly as a filling stitch but also as an outline stitch.

Split stitch: One of the basic stitches can be used as an outline stitch or as a fill stitch.

Satin Stitch Split stitch

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