Well, stitchy folk, I'm pretty excited to announce that Avlea Folk Embroidery is the proud sponsor of the Royal School of Needlework's Stitch Bank entry for Closed Cretan Stitch!
The RSA's goal for the Stitch Bank is to preserve EVERY stitch in the world. Yep, you got that right--EVERY stitch in the world! It's an ambitious goal, but one I'm so thrilled to help out with by our sponsorship. For each stitch, therhe will be a close-up of the stitch, a video of how to work, and a step-by-step diagram. This will be a true treasure trove of information not just for stitchers, but for museums trying to document historic garments and textiles, academics, historians, costume curators, and anyone who wants to explore the amazing world of embroidery.
In the vintage postcard shown above, you can see a classic example of Closed Cretan Stitch which was used most commonly on skirts that are a part of Cretan folk cos from about the 1700s onwards. These lavishly embroidery skirts could feature embroidery up to 24 inches deep worked in vibrant tones of red, blue, green, and yellow/gold. What's truly remarkable about these embroideries is stunning they look worked with virtually one stitch (some of the stitches are outlined with a small chain stitch). The Closed Cretan stitch is used for leaves, tendrils, figures, and birds, all to great effect.
It's very important to me that Avlea Folk Embroidery is not simply about selling kits and patterns (although, that is pretty great!), but about supporting embroidery knowledge and learning and passing on textile knowledge to the next generation. Digital technology is proving to be an excellent tool to share how-to videos, FlossTube videos, and now, the Stitch Bank. I'll be working on an upcoming embroidery hoop kit in Closed Cretan Stitch to celebrate our sponsorship, so stay tuned!