Erica asked if I was sure the piece shown in Hardanger Inspiration was hardanger and not Punto Antico. I thought I’d reply in a post since my answer was getting a little long and perhaps others would be interested too.
Yes, it’s hardanger – see all the kloster blocks? So far as I can tell from surfing around, many hardanger patterns stick to using simpler fillings, but that doesn’t mean the fancy stuff isn’t out there! I think people are sometimes a little intimidated by the more complex stitches so they are used less, which makes them less visible, and then people are less likely to hear about them.
So, what is Punto Antico? This essay on Punto Antico from the Embroidery School of Borgo San Lorenzo presents some photos and stitch instructions. Jeanine at Italian Needlework also has a post about Punto Antico with photos, and wrote several articles on the subject for Interweave. This (beautifully illustrated) article on Punto Antico says the difference between the styles is that, “Unlike those of Hardanger, the openwork shapes of Punto Antico are outlined in either double running stitch or backstitch, and then the center of each shape is cut diagonally to form an X from corner to corner. The resulting flaps are folded to the back of the fabric and secured with Punto Cordoncino (cord or overcast stitch) worked over the top and enclosing the double running stitch outlining the open area; the excess fabric is then cut away.” Her other article provides free instructions for a Punto Antico Biscornu.