The little border pattern runs along the top and bottom of the fragment. In the middle are a large hexagon with an S-shaped panel of faggoting, and two diamond shapes in counted-thread flat stitches. The area with the large open spaces is drawn-thread work with needle-woven bars, and several other motifs in faggoting and double-running stitch decorate the piece as well.
Above is a modern rendition of the border pattern, worked over groups of three threads on linen. (As with other blackwork and whitework, the pattern can be enlarged or reduced by working over four or two threads rather than three.) In this example, the central diamond faggoting is worked in white thread, and the two diamonds on either side in colored thread to show the stitching.
The diagrams here give more details on how to work the single faggoting stitch. Note that the sequence of the stitches is not necessarily what you would expect just from looking at the surface! But the stitches must be worked this way to create the diagonal “pull” that creates the openwork effect. If it’s done correctly, the reverse side of your embroidery will show parallel rows of diagonal slanted stitches.
If done carefully, this border has a nice looking reverse side, though it’s not identical to the front. This means it can be used on handkerchiefs or “basket cloths” where both sides may be visible. It could also be used around the cuffs and neckline of a linen chemise or tunic. Patterns like this seem to have been freely borrowed by Europeans as well, especially in Spain and other areas where Islamic influence was strong. We know that many such needlework stitches traveled to Europe along with the luxury goods imported by Italian traders — along with algebra, knitting, alchemy, and the number zero. Europe owes much to the Islamic world.
Faggoting diagram © Linn Skinner 2005;
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This particular web page last updated on November 12 2005.