Assisi embroidery


ASSIS embroidery is the perfect technique if you are looking for something a little bit different.

Assis work cardRecently at Kenya embroiderer’s guild we had a workshop on Assis embroidery. Assisi is a simple technique which can produce some stunning results.

Assisi embroidery is done by cross stitching the background and leaving the design empty, or voided (unstitched).  This craft was originated in the Italian town of Assisi in the 13th century. The colours of thread used were the traditional ones of red, blue, green or gold for the background, and black or brown for the outlines. Traditional motifs were largely heraldic, especially heraldic beasts, and typically featured symmetrically arranged pairs of animals and birds surrounded by ornate filigree borders.

There are plenty of opportunities for adding a personal touch too. Choosing a coloured fabric or your favourite thread shades can result in great combinations. Also a bit of sparkle with metallic thread can add a special touch.  A striped or checked background can also make the design stand out.



Browsing through the net came across this Assisi embroidery designs in which instead of surrounding an empty area with long armed cross stitch as in traditional assisi work, in this blackwork fill patterns are used.

So get creative and the choices are endless!

Tips for getting started

1. Assisi should be worked onto cross stitch fabrics such as aida and linen. For the best results opt for evenweave – the smooth, closely-woven material contrasts well with the heavily-stitched background. We’ve chosen a white 28 HPI evenweave here, but a linen fabric would create a desirable rustic finish look too.

2.Work the background in a solid color, using two strands of embroidery thread. Work in counted cross stitch, stitching from right to left with a half cross, and then from left to right to complete the crosses all going the same way. Once the background is completed, the Assisi embroidery or design will show.

3. Avoid trailing threads across the back of your stitching, especially in areas that are left unstitched. Start and finish your thread with a waste knot or work a couple of secure holding stitches in an area that will be hidden.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: