Faggoting embroidery is a handed down style of stitching from the Victorian era. Faggoting or fagotting or faggoting, (you can spell it 3 ways) took its name from bundles of sticks collected together. It is, in fact, a delicate way of joining pieces of fabric and was extensively used for ladies’ lingerie.
Faggoting uses soft satins and linens with a delicate style of linking two pieces of fabric together at a hem level or to create a decorative seam. It is also a great way to add some interest to table napkins.
The stitch is simple, and the method merely requires a piece of paper or scrap fabric and some parallel lines to keep your work evenly spaced.
Preparation for Faggoting
Once you have prepared your fabric with a narrow hem, tack the fabric to a piece of paper or scrap fabric following two parallel lines about 1/2 inch (12mm) apart. I used some fabric scrap and I will refer to this as the backing.
Do not tack right next to the edge of the fabric because you will need a small margin of space to stitch the faggoting stitches between the gap.
- It is worth marking insert points along the edge to guide your needle especially if you are a beginner at this stitch.
- I marked every 1/4 inch (6mm) for a medium sized faggoting. You may want your intervals much smaller than this for fine work.
Remember you are not going to stitch through the backing as it is merely there to guide your stitches and will be removed at the end of stitching.
This is worked from right to left.
Step one: Bring the needle up at point 1 which is about 1/8 inch (3mm) from the edge.
Step 2: Insert the needle in a stabbing motion towards the gap at point 2. Make sure the needle passes over the top of the thread to create a twist. Notice this is offset from point 1 by about 1/4 inch (6mm).
Step three: Move left for another 1/4” and insert the needle into the upper edge with a stab motion again. Bring the needle out into the gap with the thread behind the needle.
Step four: Continue in this way as you twist the thread and fill the gap with stitches only stabbing the edge of the fabric and not stitching into the backing.
Step 4: Remove your basting stitches from the backing.
All finished and looking delicate and open.
Faggoting is really a reminder of the days when Victorian ladies had the patience to sew their own undergarments.
A beautiful skill from the past and something to treasure if you apply the stitch to some fine table linen as you attempt to create vintage napkins for your next dinner party.