How to Make Chinese Suzhou Embroidery - Free Overlap Stitch

There are 18 different stitches in Suzhou embroidery. Below is the introduction of the fifth stich, free overlap stitch

18 - 5 Free Overlap Stitch

Free overlap stitch involves the interlocking and overlapping of layer, and features different lengths of stitching lines and random arrangement of the stitches. The varied arrangement of the silk threads is natural, and the color gradation is even. The lines are slightly overlapped, but are not to thick, and the stitch marks are invisible. It is one of the main stitches used in embroidering modern decorative works.

Take the embroidering of a flower petal as an example. The process for the free overlap stitch is as follows: When the edge of the first layer is made, the outer edge is neat and the lines inside are irregular. The difference of the irregular lines is about two ro three tenths of the lines, and must not exceed half the length of the lines. The stitches must be flat, neat, even and tight (fig. a). Start the overlap in the second layer and arrange the lines of equal length irregularly, and the difference of the irregular lines coincides with those of the lines in the first layer, and the lines should cover the lines in the first layer by eight-tenths, the stitches should be slightly loose, and the space between is one stitch( fig. b). The lines in the third layer are inlaid between the lines in the second layer and then inserted into the first layer so that the stitch marks are invisible, easier for toning, and fitting ( fig. c). The following layers are embroidered by this analogy. The lines by the edge must be flat, neat and tight. The lines must be inserted between the lines in the previous layer to hide the stitch marks.

free overlap stitch

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