Sunday, 25 February 2018

Sunday Stitch School - Lesson 52: Underside Couching

Welcome to an evening lesson at Sunday Stitch School where we will be learning another ancient way of using precious thread in a thrifty way.

Underside Couching was used to embellish the surface of fabric, while saving both the thread and fabric from wear and making the most of the expensive gold or silver thread.

French name: Point de Couchure (Thank you, Mattia)

I found the instructions in A-Z of Embroidery Stitches 2 to be clear with good pictures.

Still I wanted to add my own pictures where I have couched down a brown thread with a yellow one on a piece of Aida.

 Working from underneath, take the yellow thread out and into the same hole over the brown thread until you have a 'lasso'.

 Give the 'lasso' a bit of a tug until a bit of the brown thread enters the back.

continue in the same way.

Here you can see the Underside Couching on the back of the fabric.

Ha, that was more difficult than I first thought!
Here is perfect proof that Aida is not the best fabric to do the couching, and that the two threads should match in colour!
Lesson learned? Prove it by doing your homework properly!

The homework will be to:
Add a couple of rows on the SSS Aida sampler (be careful!)
Add Underside Couching to the SSS Reference Chart
Fill in a shape on the orange piece of fabric.


Rachel said...

I've heard that another advantage of underside couching for garments (it was much used for church vestments) is that the fabric moves well...

Queeniepatch said...

Yes, of course! Thank you for pointing it out. Some of the vestments are so heavily decorated with Goldwork they would have been like armor.

Pamela said...

I didn't know about this stitch or the reason for it. Thank you!

carorose said...

It is really useful for decoration on garments. ( Learnt that one from ladies in the fashion workroom when I was a cadet. Many years ago.)

crazyQstitcher said...

The stitch is new to me also. I must try this one.

Queeniepatch said...

I think it belongs to Goldwork. I haven't tried my hand at the type of embroidery yet, but wanted to try the Underside Couching anyway.

Queeniepatch said...

I think it is a 'specialist's' stitch, used by experts of Goldwork or dressmakers.

Queeniepatch said...

and I have to MASTER it. It is not as easy as you first think!

Janie said...

Very nice sample and information.
I can see that it would be important to take into consideration how the
intended garment would wear.
If it's supposed to look beautiful why not make it wear beautiful too?

Deepa said...

That seems to be a difficult stitch- especially the tugging part to bring the bit of top thread to the bottom.Would it be easily possible in a closely woven fabric? I have my doubts.

Queeniepatch said...

You are absolutely right! Garments should wear nicely, not just look good!

Queeniepatch said...

So have I. I have not yet worked the orange plain weave, but think if I use a thick needle it will puncture a hole large enough for the thicker thread to just pop under the surface. We'll see!

FlashinScissors said...

I used that stitch on the Goldwork project I finished at Christmas time, didn’t even know it had a proper name at that time!
Your sampler is looking great ..... it’s amazing to see all those stitches together. They are really pretty!
Barbara xx

Queeniepatch said...

At first I had problem with the Underside Couching on plain weave, but then I started using a really thick needle and it wav easy-peasy!

shirley said...

I have reached an age where I am unable to stitch much, but am enjoying looking at blogs. The underside couching is something I never tried and I am very impressed with the effect. I can see how it could come in handy at some point on the last of my UFO's I am working on. Love your crazy patchwork and your little dolls.

Queeniepatch said...

Thank you for your kind words.
When we no longer can travel we can become 'armchair travelers'. So when we no longer take up the needle ourselves, we can still be 'armchair quilters/embroiderers'. There is so much to see on others' blogs and on Pinterest.