Embroider the World


What is it?

This small detail is from an Albanian garment called a zelek. The serpentine designs and intense colours have been produced using couching.

This technique enables you to draw pictures with yarn. Any thickness of yarn or indeed several strands, can be sewn into place to create pattern and texture. 

To add texture and variety to designs try using different threads and yarns of varying thickness. There are many novelty yarns on the market that would introduce a rich variety of texture to your designs.


How do I do it?

  • Lay the thread to be couched on to your fabric and secure in place with pins.
  • Use a toning or slightly darker colour to stitch over your thread.
  • Keep your stitches close to the couched thread and evenly spaced.
  • A contrasting thread can be used to good effect.

Download our handy PDF guide  to learning couching and all of the other stitches featured in this resource.

Document icon Learning article provided by: Bankfield Museum | 
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