Petit Point, as a type of needlework, was introduced into the England from France in the sixteenth century and many historic needlework pieces are done in Petit Point.
Petit Point is a counted type of needlework that could be executed on any ground fabric. Historically Petit Point was done with Tent Continental stitch and a Half Cross stitch, stitches that belongs to the family of Tent stitches (Basketweave, also called Tent Diagonal; Tent Continental; and Half Cross Stitch).
Why is the group of these stitches called “Tent”?
It derives its name from the old word “tenture”, or “tenter”, the frame on which the material was stretched.
Why is Basketweave stitch called so?
Basketweave stitch is called so, because due to its technique and a stitch executed diagonally, the backside of a stitched piece with basketweave stitch resembles a woven basket.
Why is a Tent stitch for Petit Point given Continental name? Based on entomology of an old French word continent (adj.) the word “continental” referring to a needlework stitch means “holding together, continuous” due to the technique of a Tent Continental stitch when a stitch is taken across the intersection of each warp and weft thread on canvas (that is different from executing a half cross stitch). In this way of laying the stitches the closest rows of small stitches thus formed conceal completely material and produce short slanted stitches on the surface and long slanted stitches on the back side.
Happy petit pointing!