ANNE WANNER'S Textiles in History / diagrams

as in: Ottoman Embroidery,
by Marianne Ellis & Jennifer Weardent, V&A Publications 2001
diagrams copyright by V&A Publications

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Ottoman Embroidery Stitches & Techniques: An Appreciation - by Marianne Ellis
(diagrams with the same numbers as in the publication)
  At present, the confusion over stitch terminology and technique in publications makes comparisons extremely difficult. If the stitches were correctly described, like could be compared with like and the reason for the embroiderer selecting particular stitches could be explored in depth.

The most fascinating aspect of this kind of embroidery is tracing the way in which running stitch, the most basic of all stitches, was elaborated to transform plain woven cloth into such diverse and attractive embroideries that excited admdiration from travellers from the West.

  Double running: HESAP ISI (literally means 'counted work') Double running stitch forms the basis of embroideries designed to be seen from both sides, such as kerchiefs, sashes, turban covers, towels and napkins.
It is sometimes described in publication as 'two sided-line' or 'Holbein' stitch.
The stitches were used to define outlines, or to fill motives, sometimes with just one form of double running stitch repeated in rows or with two variations combined.
  5) double running in a line
double running with dog tooth edge
and combination
  6) double running in steps
  7) double running in steps
and diagonal lines
  8) double running in diagonal lines
and running steps over threads laid diagonally

  pulled thread stitches: Musabak and Mürver The most intricate of the Ottoman embroidery stitches are those which produce an open work effect when the threads are pulled tightly. Since they are only found on Ottoman needlework, there are no parallel terms for them in English.

Sometimes both ends of a towel were worked almost entirely in musabak stitch but more often it was used for selected parts of a motif such as the centre of a flower.

  13) musabak (means 'netted') is most often used from the eighteenth century onwards.

It consists of diagonal rows of cable stitches and single faggot stitches worked over the same threads, so producing reversible needlework. The stitches transform the ground fabric into a fine square net without removing any threads.

  14) mürver naqsh translates as 'embroidery in a leaf pattern'. This stitch is found comparatively rarely.

Small holes lie in staggered rows. There are different ways of achieving this. At present it is difficult to know which one, or whether all of them, should be called mürver.


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