Gobelin stitch and its varations

Gobelin stitch is basically a straight stitch worked over a number of canvas threads. By working it over a different number of canvas threads, or at a different angle, you can vary it to create numerous effects.

In the photograph below, the center sample is gobelin worked over 3 canvas threads, in an upright manner. The needle goes down through the last hole of the previous row. Some example ideas for its use could include borders, weather-boarding or roof tiles on a building or a ploughed field in a landscape.

Slanted gobelin stitch

The right hand sample in the photo above, shows slanted gobelin stitch. The stitches are still worked over 3 canvas threads, but the needle goes down one stitch to the right, giving the stitch a slant.

You would want to use a thicker yarn than the one I used to stitch this sample. I just wanted to make it clearer for you to see the individual stitches.

Encroaching gobelin

Worked in a similar manner to the slanted variation, the stitches in the left hand sample in the same photo encroach, or overlap, the previous row by one canvas thread. The result is a smoother overall effect. Changing from one color to another gives a softer shaded effect than the abrubt change obvious in the basic gobelin varation. 

This can make lovely hair or animal fur in a needlepoint design, in addition to being a wonderful background filling stitch.



Parisian stitch

Alternating one long stitch (over 4 canvas threads) with one shorter over just two, gives you parisian stitch. For the subsequent rows you make the long stitch under the short one in the previous row.

The photo above is worked with mixed strands of crewel wool in the needle to give a more natural effect to the grass in this design.

Double parisian stitch

If you work two long, and then two short stitches you create double parisian stitch. This almost gives a woven appearance to the needlepoint work. It would work well for a basket if turned by 90 degrees, or even a fence or hurdle.

Hungarian stitch

I have worked this sample in two colors to make it easier to see the diamond shapes that this variation creates. It also works well in a single color.

The stitches, over 2 and 4 canvas threads, are worked in the following order...

Short, long, short then miss a hole and repeat. Subsequent rows are worked with the long stitch going down in the "missing" hole of the row before.

I love using this to represent clothing in a design and have also used it for skys, to give a little texture.

Bargello needlepoint

The straight gobelin is also used in Bargello needlepoint, in a similar manner to the double parisian above. You can find more information along with a free pattern for Bargello by clicking the links.


New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

Recent Articles

  1. Needlepoint accessories to help older sewers

    Jan 18, 18 03:53 AM

    Hi...I have been doing needlepoint for years but as I am getting older I am finding some challenges that are preventing me from continuing to enjoy doing

    Read More

  2. Needlework at Arlington Court, Barnstable, Devon

    Nov 20, 17 07:45 AM

    Arlington Court's needlework collection is extensive. Enjoy these photos of my favorite pieces on display.

    Read More

  3. Cross stitch is simple and fun

    Oct 19, 17 05:04 AM

    The first page in our cross stitch section. Links to freebies, lessons, beginner kits, advanced techniques like stitching on evenweave and working fractional stitches and more

    Read More