- Single coral stitch
- Point Anglaise Stitch
- Point d'Epine Stitch
- Double Feather stitch
A series of fly stitches worked under one another, alternately offset to the left and right.
Feather stitch has been notably used on English smocks (garments worn by countrymen from the late 18th to mid 19th century). The stitch played both a decorative and practical function as it gathered the cloth to give shape to the clothing.
It has obviously been in use for several centuries by this time, as evidenced by a 16th century Swiss/south German ecclesiastical piece held by the Cleveland Museum of Art.
More recently, feather stitch has been used to piece together crazy quilts.
The name point d’épine means thorn or spine stitch - presumably because of the spikey appearance of the stitch.
N.B. historically, the term ‘feather stitch’, or Opus Plumarium, has also been used for Long and short stitch.
Pull the thread through, leaving a loop.
Bring the needle up inside the loop, below and between the holes, as shown.
Draw the thread through to create a second loop, then bring the needle up below and between the holes.
Tighten the loop against the needle, then draw the thread through. Repeat the next fly offset to the opposite side.
Structure of stitch
S. F. A. Caulfield, Blanche C. Saward, The Dictionary of Needlework (1882) , p.183
Mrs Archibald Christie, Samplers and Stitches (1921) , p.31
Mary Thomas, Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches (1934) , p.92–3
W.G. Paulson Townsend, Louisa F. Pesel, Walter Crane, Embroidery or the Craft of the Needle (1907) , p.251
Anne E. Wardwell. (1980) 'The Holy Kinship: A Sixteen-Century Immaculist Embroidery', The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art pp.285-295. Available at: https://www.jstor.org/stable/25159697
'Smocks', The Museum of English Rural Life. Available at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/merl/the_collections/the_museum/smocks.html (Accessed: 01 September 2021)