An extract on #couching
Laid work is one of two techniques used in the Bayeux Tapestry, an embroidered cloth probably dating to the later 1070s. (The other technique is stem stitch.)
Underside couching of metal thread was characteristic of earlier Opus Anglicanum in Medieval England and was also used historically in Sicily and rarely in other parts of Italy and France. Couching is also characteristic of Japanese metal-thread embroidery and Central Asian suzani work.
Another example of Islamic embroidery is the strong tradition of couching stitch in Palestine. Production centered on Bethlehem and its two neighbouring villages Beit Sahour and Beit Jalla; it was used for wedding dresses and formal wear.
In couching, one or more threads are laid on the fabric surface and sewn to the fabric at regular intervals.
In couched filling, threads are laid on the surface in a trellis pattern and sewn to the fabric at the intersections.
In laid work or Bayeux stitch, threads are laid side-by-side to fill a shape, then held in place with a thread at right angles to the laid threads. This crossing thread is then couched to the fabric to hold the laid threads in place.
In Bokhara couching or Bokhara stitch, the couched threads are held in place with many tiny crossing stitches, which may be aligned from row to row to produce patterns.
In Roumanian stitch, long satin stitches are each held in place with a small diagonal stitch made in the center.
In Roumanian couching, bundles of laid threads are held in place with Roumanian stitches.
In Underside couching, a heavy couching thread (historically, a stout linen) is brought up from the wrong side of the work, looped over the laid thread, and returned to the wrong side. The couching thread is then given a sharp pull which draws a small loop of laid thread through to the wrong side of the fabric. Underside couching has the advantages that the couching thread is completely concealed from the front and is not subject to wear.
Cataract surgery by couching (lens depression) is, without a doubt, one of the oldest surgical procedures. The technique involves using a sharp instrument to push the cloudy lens to the bottom of the eye. Perhaps this procedure is that which is mentioned in the articles of the Code of Hammurabi (ca. 1792-1750 BC). However, Maharshi Sushruta, an ancient Indian surgeon, first described the procedure in Sushruta Samhita, Uttar Tantra, an Indian medical treatise (800 B.C.) (Duke-Elder, 1969; Chan, 2010). Since then the procedure was widespread throughout the world. Evidence shows that couching was widely practiced in China, Europe and Africa. After the 19th century CE, with the development of modern cataract surgery (Intra ocular extraction of lens (1748)), couching fell out of fashion, though it is still used in parts of Asia and Africa.