Purpose


The Embroidery Stitch Identification Guide presents a standardized nomenclature and classification system for embroidery stitches based on seven structural and three usage categories. The goal is to provide consistent nomenclature for designers, ethnographers, textile historians, curators, and others who wish to identify embroidery stitches or create embroidered textiles.

The project includes names for stitches previously undocumented in embroidery literature, variations of named stitches, and stitch combinations. Check the index for cross-referenced stitch names that deviate from this standardized nomenclature. The focus is on surface stitches, joins, edges, withdrawn element embroidery, deflected element embroidery, and cut work.

The Stitch Identification group during their 33 year of work on this project created this guide and analyzed the stitches on approximately 3,500 pieces in the Henry’s collection, including items from China, India, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East, and other embroidery traditions. The stitches are recorded in each object's catalog record and they’re searchable in the online collections database.