Another decorative technique: fagotting

Today I’m going to attempt to explain a technique I learnt last Friday in my Decorative Techniques class – faggoting.

Try as I might (I honestly did have a very good look in the last five minutes, sitting here in my PJ’s!), I can’t find anything about the history of this oddly named technique – if anyone else knows I’d love to hear from you!

Fagotting involves bringing two pieces of fabric together with open stitches that are usually criss-crossed. Here are a couple of examples.

And here is how I did twisted faggoting.

You need two pieces of fabric that you wish to join, a strip of card or thick paper, embroidery thread and a needle, and a lot of patience.

Fold under the raw edges of the pieces of fabric that are to be joined.

On the card, draw two parallel lines. Mine are about 4mm apart, but this distance should be the distance you want between the fabric.

Place the folded edges of the fabric along each of the lines, and sew to the card. Preferably do it a bit neater than I did, but as you will be removing these stitches it doesn’t really matter!

Next, using a ruler, mark a series of points along each side at even intervals, about 2mm from the folded edge. They should not be parallel to each other on each side, but offset.

Now take some embroidery thread, and split it in to two or three strands.Tie a knot in the end of the thread, and start sewing by bringing the needle from back to front on the first point you have marked. Take the needle across to the next marked point on the other side and stitch from front to back (you don’t sew through the card, it’s just there to keep the space correct).

As you pull the needle through, sew through the loop that has been created with the thread from the other side. Pull the thread tight, this catches the loop.

Now, stitch from front to back at the next marked point on the other side. Again, as you pull through you need to be coming through the middle of the loop of thread.

And then start again. Hope that vaguely makes sense!

Here is the finished effect, with the card removed from the back. It would look much nicer using thread the same colour as the fabric.

If you want to give it a try, but this is clear as mud here are a few instructions other people have done –

By hand:

Using a satin foot on a machine:

Right, I’m off to collect some more pillowcases – have a good day everyone!

Image sources


6 thoughts on “Another decorative technique: fagotting

  1. I like that – looks a bit medieval. I wonder if it has something to do with faggot as a bundle of twigs, how they held them together or something?

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