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The Art of Stitch

Stitch is universal, it can speak to you without words. Everything is conveyed in the cloth.

A stitch does not bleed or spread like paint; it cannot be blended. It’s a definite mark. A stitch holds, it binds yet is so perfunctory, we more often dismiss it.

Let us celebrate the art of stitching. Perhaps it was a skill you were taught at school, using a blunt needle, some wool and a piece of calico? Can you remember the cross stitched ‘masterpiece’ that came home in the satchel and dutifully got displayed on the sideboard? I remember patiently learning how to knot and how to keep the thread from slipping from the eye of the needle. My hard work and concentration rewarded me with a design which appeared like magic before my eyes, in a rainbow of colourful stitched thread! This was my first foray into learning how to mark a moment in time with something other than ink or paint. For some, these skills may never progress beyond the basic and that’s ok. The importance of the task is about taking a little time to make one’s mark, to acknowledge an existence that cannot easily be smudged away.

An embroiderer’s skill is very much the same as any artist, their stitch marks are defined either with their simplicity or intricacy. The thread tells a story in much the same way. Their ‘canvas’ might well be a religious or ceremonial garment, or perhaps tribal clothing, a wedding dress, a folk costume, a tapestry or a quilt, however they are presented, they are all incredible works of art. I implore you to take a moment and appreciate the beauty of embroidery in all its forms because comparatively very few pieces make it into museums and galleries to have their moment in the spotlight…

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