- Rope stitch
Outline stitch is very similar to stem stitch, the only difference is that it is stitched by holding the loop to the left instead of the right. This results in a slightly more jagged stitch.
Outline stitch features in various embroidery techniques: it featured in 17th and 18th century Chinese embroidery. Elsewhere, it has been a feature of Baldyring embroidery , part of the Hedebo tradition in Denmark, and also of Deerfield embroidery, a tradition from Massachusetts, USA which started at the end of the 19th century .
Start at the base of your line.
Decide on the stitch length and take the needle down through the fabric at that point, leaving a loop on the surface of the fabric.
Hold the loop to the left as you bring the needle up to the surface halfway between the stitch length
Leave the needle in the fabric while you tighten the slack on the loop against your needle.
Pull the needle through the fabric and bring the thread all the way through.
Make another looped stitch, equal in length to the first.
Leaving a loop on the surface of the fabric, Repeat step four by bringing the needle up halfway between the stitch length, again holding the loop to the left.
Again, leave the needle in the fabric while you tighten the slack on the loop against your needle.
Repeat to the end of the line, each stitch should be equal in length and begin halfway along the previous stitch.
Structure of stitch
S. F. A. Caulfeild, Blanche C. Saward, The Dictionary of Needlework (1882) , p.187
Jennifer Campbell, Ann-Marie Bakewell, Guide to Embroidery Stitches (2004)
Yuhang Li. (2012) 'Embroidering Guanyin: Constructions of the Divine through Hair', East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine pp.131-166 . Available at: https://www.jstor.org/stable/43151279
Jean E. Mailey. (1963) 'Ancestors and Tomb Robes', The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin pp.101-115. Available at: https://www.jstor.org/stable/3258211
'Baldyring', TRC Leiden (2017). Available at: https://www.trc-leiden.nl/trc-needles/regional-traditions/europe-and-north-america/embroideries/baldyring-denmark (Accessed: 25 August 2021)
Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, 'Deerfield Embroidery', TRC Leiden (2017). Available at: https://www.trc-leiden.nl/trc-needles/regional-traditions/europe-and-north-america/embroideries/deerfield-embroidery (Accessed: 09 September 2021)