A traditional needle stitch worked canvas, that was fashionable in the mid 17thC, as commissioned pieces or as a personal hobby. Bargello is usually worked with tapestry wool,  it doesn’t particularly need a pattern and the mix of colours can be just as you like – which explains why some Bargello work is far more pleasing and sophisticated than others. Having said that, most aged works look good; very few colour mixes don’t improve with time and good fortune.

A needlepoint, embroidery or tapestry stitch which is worked vertically over 3-5 squares of canvas in almost any formal geometric pattern–herringbone, boxes, brick bond, etc. The result is visually strong, can be very colourful, and acts to balance out floral textiles.

It’s often used to upholster dining chair seats, side chairs, stools and as scatter cushions, where a textile needs to be characterful but still very much part of the whole. Bargello is sometimes worked for floor rugs and show wood sofas; good needlepoint will last for decades, and on a side chair can last centuries. Louis XVIII antique chairs still exist with remnants of original Bargello worked covers inside.

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