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Fundamental in sewing, knitting, embroidery and crochet, stitching is used in textile arts and is a single turn or loop of thread or yarn. There are many different kinds of stitches, each with one or multiple names, and each is used for a specific purpose when creating something out of textiles, such as clothing or blankets.
While it is difficult to know exactly when people began sewing and thus utilising stitching, it's believed that people started sewing as far back as 20000 years ago during the last Ice Age. Needles made from bones which were used for stitching skins and furs together have been discovered, and are dated back to the time of the last Ice Age. In 1790, the British inventor Thomas Saint patented the first sewing machine that worked successfully. A tailor from France, Barthelemy Thimonnier, later patented the first practical sewing machine in 1830 and it produced a chain stitch.
Many different stitches can each be used to achieve different things when creating something with fabrics. In sewing and embroidery, stitches are named based on the position of the needle and the direction in which a person will be sewing or the purpose of the stitch. For instance, an individual could use a backstitch, cross stitch or overcast stitch.
When it comes to utilising a sewing machine, the different stitches are named based on their structure. For example, a sewing machine could perform a chain stitch with one thread or a lockstitch which uses two threads.