Coptic embroidery

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The Coptic peoples used chain stitch, cross stitch, whipped running stitch, satin stitch, stem stitch and split stitch, from the 1st century AD onwards. While weaving was a more common form of textile decoration, some embroidery does survive. The main base fabric for Coptic work is linen, with the embroidery done in wool and sometimes silk.

Materials Used

  • linen ground
  • silk thread
  • wool thread

Stitches and Techniques

Extant Pieces

Sources for Further Information

  • Johnstone, Pauline. "The Byzantine Tradition in Church Embroidery". Chicago: Argonaut, 1967.
  • Gostelow, Mary. "A World of Embroidery". New York: Scribner, 1975
  • Rutschowscaya, Marie-Helene. "Coptic Fabrics". Paris: Adam Biro, 1990.
  • Thompson, Deborah. "Coptic Textiles in the Brooklyn Museum". Brooklyn Museum, 1971.
  • Warner, Pamela. "Embroidery: A History". London: Batsford, 1991.