Our friend Susan O’Dee (Mistress Briony, as she is known in the Society for Creative Anachronism) is a talented embroidery expert from New York State. Recently, we asked her what the top ten most useful embroidery stitches were, specifically for pre-1600 AD projects. She came out with a great list and graciously offered to film them for us. This video brings us to stitch number seven, the detached button hole stitch. This stitch is similar to the button hole stitch (stitch #2 on the list) but instead of being worked into the fabric, the stitch is anchored off on an existing set of stitches such as a chain stitch or couching. Because the stitching is not attached to the fabric, it can be stuffed from the back to give a raised appearance or in some cases, totally cut from the fabric to form the basis for a technique known as stumpwork. This form of embroidery gained popularity in the Elizabethan period.
Additional thanks to Pakshalika Kananbala for filming and editing the video.