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The only certainty is that the technique and designs of cross stitch spread from many of these countries throughout the European continent.The Crusaders probably brought home embroidered textiles from the Middle Eastern countries after the Crusades.

Many earlier stitches are now our most common and more easily executed ones One of the most important and widespread functions of cross stitch has been to ornament peasant garments and household linens, often as a way of indicating family wealth and status in the community.An alternative school of thought believes that the spread of cross stitch embroidery may have been in the opposite direction, since the first important migration of foreigners into China took place during the T’ang Dynasty.Persians, Arabs and travellers from Greece and India followed the silk routes to China and many eventually settled there.Single motifs are uncommon in peasant embroidery; instead the motifs are usually repeated to form straight bands, which are then arranged above one another.Traditional Greek Island designs can have as many as six or seven different bands put together to form an intricate border, which is usually finished with a pattern that creates a broken outer edge.

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The well-travelled trade and spice caravan routes carried not only merchants and their stock of articles which were for sale but also itinerant craftsmen, who practised their skills wherever they settled.