Couching and laidwork
Bokhara couching is the use of a particular embroidery stitch, in which the same thread is used both for the laid and the tying down stitches. The couching thread is carried across the space from left to right and then fastened down by the needle on its return journey with slanting stitches at regular intervals. These stitches are often used to form a series of pattern lines across the area being decorated.
Cord couching is a technique whereby a cord is sewn down to a ground material using a second thread. Cord couching is a form of passementerie, whereby the main design is created using a cord or a braid. The patterns produced in cord couching are usually stylised floral motifs with space in between the cords, so that the ground material can be seen.
Couching with cross stitch is a composite stitch and a variation of couching, whereby detached cross stitches are used to fasten down the couching thread. This type of stitch can be used for both counted thread and free-style embroidery. This stitch should not be confused with the couched cross stitch.
Horizontal cross stitch couching is a variation on couching, whereby a horizontal cross stitch is used to fasten down the laid threads rather than using other forms of stitches. This type of stitch is used for free-style embroidery. It is also associated with North African and Middle Eastern embroidery.
Jacobean couching is a composite stitch with a trellis appearance. It consists of long straight stitches, crossed by a second set of long stitches, creating a trellis work. The long stitches are subsequently fastened to the ground material by small cross stitches, often in a different colour. Jacobean couching is known as couched filling stitch, Jacobean laidwork or trellis couching.
Kloster stitch is a form of couching used during the medieval period in Northern Europe (especially in what is now Germany). The Kloster stitch is especially associated with monastic establishments (known in German as a Kloster), hence the name of the stitch. It is a form of a single thread couching stitch, which is now also called Bokhara couching.
Opus anglicanum is a form of metal thread and silk embroidery carried out in England during the later medieval period. For the production of opus anglicanum, two or three main layers of cloth were used, firstly a strong, linen lining and secondly a ground material. If a velvet was used, a third layer of cloth was used with a design drawn upon it. This was placed over the velvet and tacked in place.
Overcast couching is a form of couching, in which a trail of foundation threads is placed on a linear design drawn on the ground material. Then small overcast stitches (straight) or satin stitches (slanting) are worked over the foundation threads and through the ground material. The aim is to totally cover the foundation threads. This technique produces a firm, raised line that is useful for scroll patterns, plant stems and so forth.