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Assisi Work

Assisi embroidery, Italian, 16th century, silk on white linen cloth. Image embroidery and embroider

What is it?
Assisi is is a type of counted thread decorative embroidery similar to cross stitch, but unlike cross stitch the motif or design is left unstitched and the background is filled in with cross stitches. The motif or design is outlined in Holbein stitch.

What is it's history?
This is a historical version of cross stitch developed in the town of Assisi in Italy. Traditionally the work is produced in bright red or blue thread and worked on cream linen. Motifs usually include mythical creatures, birds and beasts.

How do I do it?
To work Assisi you will need some evenweave or Aida fabric with either 18hp inch or 14hp inch. Some stranded embroidery cotton. Following the same procedure for counted thread work, mark the centre of the fabric and work your design from the centre outwards. It is easier to embroider the outline first using one thread of the stranded embroidery cotton and then fill in the background with cross stitches typically using three strands of embroidery cotton.

What are the best embroidery stitches to use for Assisi?
Suitable stitches include: cross stitch, Holbein stitch, three-quarter cross stitch.

Recommended Reading

Assisi Embroidery: Technique and 42 Charted Designs (Dover Needlework) (Paperback)

Back to Embroidery Techniques

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