- Two-sided Montenegrin cross stitch
- Montenegrin cross stitch
Montenegrin Stitch is a form of cross stitch. It consists of one long diagonal stitch, crossed by a short diagonal stitch, a short vertical stitch and then by another short diagonal stitch. It is useful when both sides of the fabric may be exposed to view although the appearance of the wrong side is different from the one on the right side.
Montenegrin stitch was obviously in use in the 16th century as it features on a border fragment of unknown origin, held by the Cooper Hewitt museum.
From the following century it features on a 1618 German sampler held by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and on a 1648 British sampler held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Work a diagonal stitch from bottom left to top right over eight vertical and four horizontal canvas threads.
Bring up the needle to the right of the bottom left corner over four canvas threads. Make a diagonal stitch in opposite direction over four vertical and four horizontal canvas threads.
Repeat the stitches by starting a diagonal stitch to top right over eight vertical and four horizontal canvas threads.
Bring the needle up at the bottom, four threads to the right from the beginning of the previous stitch.
Work a diagonal stitch in opposite direction and come up at the same spot as the previous stitch starting point.
Work a straight stitch to the top over four canvas threads, and bring the needle up at the same hole as the beginning of the previous stitch.
Structure of stitch
Identifying Montenegrin stitch
This stitch consists of long diagonal stitches worked bottom left to top right, crossed by short diagonal stitches which slope in the opposite direction and short vertical stitches.
From the reverse, the stitch consists of a succession of cross stitches, each separated by a short vertical stitch.
Mrs Archibald Christie, Samplers and Stitches (1921) , p.84
Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches (1934) , p.66
'Embroidered band sampler 1648 Mary Pots', Met Museum (2020-1). Available at: https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/219509 (Accessed: 03 September 2021)
'17th century German whitework sampler', Victoria and Albert Museum (2021). Available at: https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O70238/sampler-boten-lucke/ (Accessed: 19 October 2021)
'16th century border fragment', Cooper Hewitt (2021). Available at: https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18382615/ (Accessed: 20 October 2021)