The Couching Stitch is very simple but its uses are many and varied. Although simple, it is yet one of the stitches that require utmost care in the making, as all its beauty depends upon the neatness with which it is formed.
Couching is an English corruption of the French word coucher, to lay. This form of embroidery is laid on the surface of the ground material instead of being sewed through. They have a very close relation to each other. The style of work known as couching may be used alone, but appliqué includes couching, for that which is to be applied is fastened by couching — that is, by laid cords sewed down.
Couching can be done straight over the laid threads; that is, the needle will be brought up on one side of the thread to be fasted down, and put down exactly opposite on the other side of the thread. By this means the thread is secured to the surface of the material; the fastening or couching stitch must be placed straight over the thread to be so fastened, as a little slant to one side or the other would ruin the effect.
Another popular practice is to use silk or floss a shade lighter, and with it form couching stitches diagonally across the couching silk, taking care to place a stitch into every twist of the silk you are couching down. The effect is beautiful.
The illustrations below of variations of the Couching stitch will help you choose the perfect stitch for your next embroidery project.
The Alphabet Stitch is a type of Couching used for working monograms, etc. Lay strands of cotton or wool along the main lines of the letter, forming a padding. Work over these as in ordinary Couching.