It is made out of linen (eight bands sewn together).
The main stitches used are stem stitching and laid-and-couched stitching.
Eight colours can be made out from the tapestry; the five main colours are blue-green, terracotta, light-green, buff and grey-blue. There are also places where very dark blue, yellow and a dark green have been used. The colour of skin has been left as the colour of the linen.
The stitches need some consideration and the contemporary ones (comment: in Anglo-Saxon Embroidery) were: stem-stitch, outline-stitch, threaded running-stitch, running stitch, split-stitch, chain-stitch, couching, and surface couching.
The latter was the main method of filling in large areas on the Bayeux tapestry and is also known as the ‚laid and couched technique‘.
1) Threads are laid over a given area and packed together to give a massed effect
2) Then add a series of second threads, not necessarily in the same colour. These are laid at right angles at about 5mm intervals.
3) Finally these are couched down to hold the whole complex in place.
Each of these large areas are edged with stem or outline stitch in a contrasting colour. It is worth noting that people of the time did not seem to worry about realistic colours, and you will find blue goats, red horses and so on throughout the Bayeux tapestry. Neither did they worry if they ran out of a colour half way through a motif, they just used another shade and carried on.
Details of the Bayeux Tapestry Finale can be found on our website at http://www.madeira.co.uk (comment: see "Features")
The three primary colors used (those that are the mostly used colors and found in both borders and the bulk of the main body):
8114 – Burnt Red (comment: must be DMC, I think)
8408 – Deep Green-Blue
8302 – Burnt Gold
The three secondary colors used (those used mainly in the borders but found
sparsily throughout the main body):
8204 – Grey
8406 – Sea Green
8403 – Moss Green
The two terciary colors used (those that are believed to be fill ins and part
of the shadowing and highlighting found mostly in the borders and in the written letters):
8326 – Yellow
No number just the word Navy
Naturally, with threads plant dyed in the 20th century you cannot replicate
exactly those of the 11th century which are now quite dull but they are
These are the colour refs:
Orange 1202. browns 1302 1303. yellows 1413.1407.1408.
blues 1621.1009.1909. greens 1613.1617.1619. (comment: Madeira? Anchor?)
The original Bayeux Tapestry was embroidered using a 2 ply wool thread.
if using ordinary embroidery cotton, use the full six strands