- Double square stitch
- Queen stitch
Rococo stitch is used in canvaswork as a textured filling stitch. Four vertical stitches are couched down with small horizontal stitches to form a diamond shape.
Rococo stitch dates from at least the 17th century when it was normally knows as Queen’s stitch: it features on a panel exhibited by the Metropolitan Museum in New York and a casket now held by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Both examples are worked in silk to showcase the intricacy of the stitch. It continued to be popular in the 18th century for chair seats and stools and smaller items such as pocketbooks and pincushions. Historic examples normally have a slightly open appearance as the canvas pulls apart slightly where the points of the stitch meet.
Come up to the front of the canvas and go down over four threads above. Pull the stitch out of alignment and make a horizontal stitch across it as shown in the diagram. The couching stitch should be two stitches up and two stitches across from the starting point - make sure that you stitch over the vertical canvas thread.
Bring the needle up at the same hole as the starting point, and go down in the same hole over four threads above.
Make a small horizontal stitch in the middle one thread over as shown.
The couching stitch should be two stitches up and one stitch across from the starting point.
Repeat and work two more vertical stitches with a small horizontal stitch across. Make sure these four vertical stitches share the same holes at the top and the bottom.
To begin the second row, bring the needle up at four threads down from the hole between the two Rococo stitches in the first row.
The first vertical stitch is couched with a small horizontal stitch as shown (this uses the same hole as the previous row).
Structure of stitch
S. F. A. Caulfeild, Blanche C. Saward, The Dictionary of Needlework (1882) , p.192
Mary Thomas, Jan Eaton, Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches (Revised Edition) (1989) , p.162
Mrs Archibald Christie, Samplers and Stitches (1921) , p.92–3, fig.146
Preston Remington. (1945) 'English Needlework Pictures', The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin pp.49-54. Available at: https://www.jstor.org/stable/3257161
'Embroidered Casket', Victoria and Albert Museum (1999). Available at: http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O11096/embroidered-casket-edlin-martha/ (Accessed: 03 September 2021)
Mary Thomas, Mary Thomas’s Embroidery Book (1936) , p.43-4
Susan Burrows Swan, Plain & fancy : American women and their needlework, 1700-1850 (1977) , p.98
Betty Ring, Needlework : an historical survey (1975) , p.58