This is another tutorial for the embroidery class I am teaching, utilizing stitches found on altar cloths embroidered by the nuns of the Altenberg on Lahn convent in Germany. Chain stitches are used in several of the extant textiles dating from the 13th and 14th centuries. In particular this Lenten veil is stitched almost completely in chain stitch. This cloth is currently in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art in Cleveland Ohio here is a link to learn more about it. http://www.clevelandart.org/art/1948.352?collection_search_query=altar+cloth&op=search&form_build_id=form-3GLIcR92Z9MhgpJjasMJi92ZrM0m3mv5ZIlnZmWFnsE&form_id=clevelandart_collection_search_form
Here is a close up detail of the same cloth, you can easily see the open chain stitches used to outline the beast.
Open Chain Stitch also called Ladder Stitch
Chain stitch is a very easy stitch to learn and I personally feel that it is one of the basic stitches that every embroider should know. It can be used for outlining a design and also for filling areas. The look of the stitch can be altered by changing the width of the legs. It works well on both straight lines and in curves. It is a very popular stitch and the basic chain stitch can easily be altered to make more complicated stitches such as heavy chain, Hungarian braided chain. and couched chain. I work my chain stitches in reverse, I think it gives me more control over the placement of my stitches.
Here is a detail view of Open Chain used in the project for the class I am teaching.