Two-sided Italian cross stitch
- Arrowhead cross stitch
- Italian cross stitch
- Two-sided cross stitch
- Framed cross stitch
This stitch consists of a cross stitch edged on two sides with a vertical and a horizontal straight stitch.
Two-sided Italian cross stitch was certainly in use during the late medieval period as there is evidence it was used in Opus Teutonicum ecclesiastical embroidery from this time.
It subsequently featured regularly on English samplers, as demonstrated by this late 16th century example currently held by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. They hold several other samplers which also feature this stitch.
The stitch is worked from the bottom left corner over three threads of the canvas.
The fourth stitch is taken from the bottom right corner of the square to the top left corner of the square.
This is worked in two journeys from left to right and right to left to complete a single row. Bring the needle up and take it down at three threads to the left.
The second stitch is from the top right corner of the square to the bottom left corner of the square.
The third stitch is from the top left corner of the square to the bottom left corner of the square.
At the end of the first row, bring the needle up from the bottom right corner of the square to the top right corner of the square.
Journey back from right to left with a diagonal stitch from bottom right corner of the square to the top left corner of the square.
When you complete the first row, bring up the needle at the top right corner of the square, which is the bottom right corner of the first square in the second row.
Structure of stitch
Identifying Two-sided Italian cross stitch
From the reverse, this stitch consists of cross stitches, each underlined by a straight stitch.
Mrs Archibald Christie, Samplers and Stitches (1921) , p.85–6
Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches (1934) , p.69–70
Christa C. Mayer. (1971) 'An Early German Needlework Fragment', Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies pp.66-76. Available at: https://www.jstor.org/stable/4104352
'Jane Bostocke sampler', Victoria and Albert Museum (2000). Available at: https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O46183/sampler-jane-bostocke/ (Accessed: 26 August 2021)
'Part of an antependium depicting the Last Supper', Art Institute of Chicago. Available at: https://www.artic.edu/artworks/62695/part-of-an-antependium-depicting-the-last-supper (Accessed: 04 August 2023)