Friday, November 18, 2011

Gopuram Stitch Tutorials

Friends, I was going through some of my very old doodling clothes on which I used to practise my embroidery stitches learnt from various sources and came across this stitch.

I have learnt many from my maternal Grandma. In her childhood she studied in a school run by nuns. Such schools were called as Convents by the local people. My Gran was very proud of having studied there. Her English was impeccable. Well she learnt embroidery, crochet, sewing etc in her school. She had a very good knowledge of embroidery stitches not only the Indian ones but also those from across the world.We grand children used to sit with her and talk about her school days. We also used to learn embroidery and crochet from her. She had good memory and even after 70 years or so, she could tell us the name of the stitch both in English and local language. But alas at that time I never bothered to note down those names. 

Here is one of the stitches I learned from her. She named it as Gopuram Stitch. Gopuram means Temple dome. She was not sure from where she learned this nor the name of the stitch. When she taught me I remarked that this stitch reminded me of a temple dome-so we named it as Gopuram stitch. We used to (re)name many stitches to remember them easily--:)...:)...

If any one knows about the origin or name or any other information about this stitch, please let me know. I have not come across any similar stitch so far. Though it looks like an inverted Feather Stitch.

I have tried to put it down properly for you as tutorials:

The stitch belongs to Chain Stitch or Looped Stitches family. It can be stitched on any fabric-that is this is not a counted thread stitch.

This is how the stitch goes. I have marked the points for illustrative purpose. When we actually stitch we need no marking.

Bring out the needle up through the fabric from underside at point 'A'.


Now insert the needle  at 'B' a little away from 'A',  going under the fabric and come out at 'C'. Loop the thread from left to right from under the needle forming a loop. Now pull the needle to get the first stitch or loop.

This is almost like a chain stitch, except that that in chain stitch we insert needle at A where as here we leave some space in between. 

Similarly make another loop from 'F' to 'G'. 
Now again make a loop by entering at 'D'  a little away from 'B' and coming out at 'E'.


Anchor with a little straight stitch at 'H'. We have completed the basic part of the stitch. it should look like this one as shown below.

The points A, B, D and F should be equidistant from each other. I have put more space between points, A,B,D and F (Fig-6)so that the stitch is clear to you. 

Similarly points C, E, G and H should also be equidistant from each other. 

Also notice that point 'C' should be a little to the right of A and so on and not mid point of A and B. That is the original stitch taught to me (a part of it). 

Actually there is more to the stitch I learnt. I will be posting it in my next post.

Here I have tried to vary the stitch for my sampler. 
In the stitch at 4, I have placed points C, E, G and H as mid point of A-B, A-D and so on. In 5, I have placed them to (almost) right side.
I have used beads (2) and cut glass beads (3). In 4 above I have anchored the stitch with a chain stitch.
Here the stitches shown at 1,2 and 3 are not correct. I was just practising on a doodle cloth before I got it correct at 4. See 8 and 9, I was trying to build up a pattern.


As a border around the necks, sleeves and hems of blouses, kurtis or tunics, skirts for decorating CQ blocks and on pillows, cushion covers, saris etc.

I am still practising the stitch and trying to build up a sampler. The best part is yet to come. So watch out for more...

Practise the stitch and please do mail me your innovations with the stitch so that we all can share them...


Deepa said...

Hi Sailaja,
This stitch is a variation of feather stitch called Maidenhair stitch.Have a look here

Suseela said...


The stitch looks like a Maiden hair stitch..another version of fly stitch.


Ms Sharma said...

Thank you Deepa and Suseela for responding.

I have mentioned in the post that this looks like an inverted Feather Stitch.

But the method of stitching is different and any way this is only a part of the stitch. The remaining I will post shortly.

allis said...

Thank you for your clear instructions. This is a lovely stitch.

Ms Sharma said...

Thank you Allis