The Assisi embroidery type of cross stitching originated in the town of Assisi.
It is reputed to have originated from one of the sister orders of the Franciscans, which Saint Francis founded.
This Italian embroidery is different than the modern cross needlepoint stitch that is done today; it is also known as long arm, meaning the stitches often cross over each other and it the background that is filled in, not the pattern.
This is similar to the black stitch method and is called voiding.
Pieces of Assisi cross stitchery from the thirteenth century show work on off white material with blue used a the main color.
The traditional colors are red, blue, green and gold, with the black or brown being used as an outlining color; as these colors suit themselves particularity well to heraldic themes they became known for that purpose.
The fabric best suited to Assisi cross stitching is one with a high woven count; linen is one of the best choices because the beauty of the material itself comes through along with the design and adds to the beauty of the whole piece.
This type of Italian embroidery was popular during the thirteenth through the seventeenth century, than nearly expired before being revived as a cottage industry featuring traditional arts and crafts in the twentieth century.
There are two different types of stitches used in Assisi cross stitch, the Holbein and cross stitch.
The Holbein is used primarily in outlining whereas the cross stitch is used normally but it is important to make certain the stitches face the same way throughout the cross stitching project for the best effect.
Return from this page to one of the following pages:
Cross Stitch Terms
Assisi Embroidery to Creative Cross Stitch