Couching is an embroidery technique where one fiber is laid across the surface of the support fabric and another thread is used to stitch over it to secure it in place. The surface fiber is often something special – too thick to stitch through the fabric, a delicate metallic thread, etc. The surface fiber can be laid out in a random pattern as shown, used to outline a motif, spiraled, aligned in rows, or in any number of other designs. The thread used to stitch over it can also be random or it can be carefully placed to create patterns. The ends of the surface fiber can be drawn through to the back of the fabric or left in the front.