Punto Antico

Punto Antico means Antique Stitch and it’s a traditional technique used for centuries in Italy to decorate household and personal linens. It’s still used extensively today. You often see it on the long narrow curtains in homes and restaurants but also on tablecloths, napkins and table runners.

Here’s a detail from a very old tablecloth in punto antico that was given to me by a friend in Treviso, Italy:

In the past Punto Antico was done in white on white or ecru on white but increasingly it’s being stitched in colour.

This shift of traditional embroidery and lace from whitework to the use of colour was one of the clearest trends at Italia Invita.

Is Punto Antico the Italian Hardanger?

At first glance it can look similar to Hardanger as it’s usually stitched on evenweave fabric in geometric designs, has counted stitches (particularly satin stitch) and needlelace inserts. Here’s a piece that I saw at Italia Invita:

But a closer look…

….quickly dispels this impression as the stitches used are different to Hardanger and the needlelace insertions are in Reticello, Punto in Aria and/or Aemilia Ars.


Comments are closed.