Long-armed cross stitch
- Long-legged cross stitch
- Long-arm cross stitch
- Plaited Slav stitch
- Portuguese stitch
- twist stitch
- Persian cross stitch
This is an asymmetrical cross stitch where long diagonal stitches are worked over twice the number of vertical threads used for the short diagonal stitches. It can be used as a filling stitch or alternatively as a wide border which accentuates its interwoven appearance.
The earliest evidence of long-armed cross stitch is from 10th-12th century Egypt: the Cooper Hewitt museum in New York has a linen fragment with silk embroidery featuring the stitch.
Later examples include 16th century pieces as demonstrated by the Elizabethan embroideries of Hardwick Hall; and Icelandic embroideries from the 17th century. Elsewhere it featured in embroidery from various Greek islands; embroidery from Morocco; Assisi embroidery from Italy and in early 19th century samplers in the United States.
Work from left to right. Start with a long diagonal stitch over eight vertical and four horizontal canvas threads.
Cross the long stitch with a shorter diagonal stitch which spans the square of four threads from bottom right to top left.
Structure of stitch
Identifying Long-armed cross stitch
Long-armed cross stitch consists of long diagonal stitches, sloping from the bottom left to top right. Each long stitch is crossed by two short stitches, the first below and the second above. On the reverse, it forms two parallel lines of back stitch.
Mrs Archibald Christie, Samplers and Stitches (1921) , p.85
Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches (1934) , p.64–5
Santina M. Levey, The Embroideries at Hardwick Hall: a catalogue (2007) , p.272
Elsa E. Gudjonsson. (1982) 'Traditional Icelandic Embroidery', Reykjavik Icelandic Review. Available at: https://www.scribd.com/doc/50608406/Traditional-Icelandic-Embroidery
Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, 'William Morris and a Milos Pholegandros Embroidery', TRC Leiden (2017). Available at: https://www.trc-leiden.nl/trc-needles/individual-textiles-and-textile-types/daily-and-general-garments-and-textiles/william-morris-and-a-milos-pholegandros-embroidery (Accessed: 03 September 2021)
Sheila Paine, Embroidered Textiles - Traditional Patterns from Five Continents (1990) , p.30-1, 31
(2007) 'Review: Pioneer Memorial Museum Samplers by Loree Ann Romriell; The Salt Lake City 14th Ward Album Quilt, 1857: Stories of the Relief Society Women and Their Quilt by Carol Holindrake Nielson', Journal of Mormon History pp.231-236. Available at: https://www.jstor.org/stable/23289911
'10-12th century Egyptian fragment', Cooper Hewitt (2021). Available at: http://cprhw.tt/o/2D6LP/ (Accessed: 20 October 2021)