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The well-travelled trade and spice caravan routes carried not only merchants and their stock of articles which were for sale but also itinerant craftsmen, who practised their skills wherever they settled.
The spread of cross stitch designs from their place of origin to so many different locations makes it difficult to identify accurately any one design as having originated in a particular region.
To trace the history of cross stitch, we must look back to the very beginnings of embroidery, since it is only relatively recently that cross stitch has been used as the sole stitch in a piece.
The stitches are simple to work and the fabric readily available - usually regularly woven linen, sometimes cotton.It decorates colourful garments, bags, animal trappings and furnishings, both large and small.One of the most highly decorated items is the toran, a colourful embroidered frieze with a row of pointed pendants along the lower edge, which hangs over a doorway or window for a festive occasion.Natural fibres are perishable and do not survive as well as most metal and ceramic objects excavated from archaeological sites.From the historical and archaeological evidence available, there is not yet enough accurate information to trace the exact origins of cross stitch embroidery.