Flame Stitch: The Retro Pattern That's Making a Comeback

Ready to play with fire? Put a spin on this centuries-old but always energetic pattern.

Then:

Also known as bargello or Florentine stitch, traditional flame stitch needlework combines long, vertical stitches and bold colors into zigzagging peaks and valleys. The October 1968 issue of Better Homes & Gardens magazine used the undulating pattern to bring a bit of that era's psychedelic aesthetic to an interior.

Now:

Still prized for its vibrancy, modern flame stitch has updated its mathematical uniformity with geometric variations and handcrafted textures. Applications are vast, including painted clock faces, fabric with sea-like waves, and asymmetrical accessories. The area rug in this colorful dining room weaves together a rainbow of pastel hues for a feminine look.

Just a Touch

A hint of flame stitch pattern goes a long way. Perk up bedding, sofas, and seating with flame stitch throw pillows. The funky fabric looks right at home in this welcoming bedroom, despite traditional furniture and fittings. 

Hang Loose

Utilize the many shades of flame stitch to create a color scheme. In this living room, flame stitch curtains continue the rich yellow of a leather sofa and cool blues found in accessories. The fuchsia stripes seem to dance across the room's gray walls.

Sitting Pretty

Incorporate flame stitch seating into classic decorating styles for a look that's fresh rather than stuffy. Old-world dining chairs feel contemporary when reupholstered with flame stitch fabric. Keep the pattern's color scheme monochromatic to fit with traditional and European-inspired decor. 

Mixing patterns is a common challenge in decorating, but it doesn't have to be! Master the art of pattern-mixing with these tips from designer Bridgid Coulter.

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