Recently I discovered another style of embroidery: Colcha embroidery is a traditional New Mexican wool-on-wool embroidery using the colcha stitch. It dates to the Spanish colonial era (colcha is also Spanish for quilt). When I investigated further, I discovered the work of colcha artist Julia Gomez of Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA (left, standing in front of her work).
Colcha stitch is done with two strands of wool, irregularly couched down. Ms. Gomez’s What is Colcha? page says “The colcha stitch is a long stitch caught in the middle by a short diagonal stitch. It is a yarn saving stitch, very little yarn shows on the bottom of the cloth. No knots are used on the surface or underside of the fabric.”
This produces an interesting, almost woven texture, as you can see in the closeup of her colcha work to the right. Needlework Tips and Techniques has an article on it, including stitch diagrams (I found it through I Am Not a Handbag’s story of learning colcha).
As described in her What is Colcha? page, Ms. Gomez both spins her own thread from churro wool and weaves the fabric for her work (a textile called Sabanilla). The morning glory below is hers, and is from a short article about her artwork and teaching. I have also included a photo of someone working with colcha stitch:
Finally, here are two more pictures of colcha work (from the Museum of New Mexico and the Española Valley Fiber Arts Center):