Instead, a series of straight stitches fills each petal shape, straight across the shape.
Notice as well that the dark stitches, stitched on top of the brighter red stitches, pull into the red stitches in pairs.
You might not be able to see that so well, but if you click on the photo and enlarge it, it’s a little clearer that each dark stitch actually looks more like two stitches.
Notice, too, that the satin stitched dots that make up the center of the flower are all connected.
As romantic as it sounds – that a lady, perhaps, sat at home embroidering by hand pretty little hankies to provide income in a cottage-industry type setting during tough post-war years – the handkerchief, examined closely, tells a different story.
The embellishment on the handkerchief consists of large red flowers stitched in what looks like long & short stitch, smaller satin stitched purple flowers, stems in a kind of loose chain stitch, large leaves and small leaves in what looks like satin stitch and straight stitches.
I think most people who are familiar with hand embroidery and have some knowledge of textiles in general can tell the difference.
Because serious embroiderers are immersed in their needle pursuits, because we’re familiar with the stitches and the way they naturally work and we’re familiar with threads and how they play together, we can more easily recognize the difference between something that is machine embroidered and something that is hand embroidered. Machine embroidery definitely has its place and its plusses!
You can also see a long white thread carrying from the large purple flower at the top of the photo to the purple flower to the lower left on the photo.The thread continues from one dot to another, so that there’s not really a separation of dots there. Now, let’s look at the small purple flowers – again, all stitched in apparently satin stitch, and each of the petals moving in a square kind of direction. More white thread – and it looks a lot like a chain stitch, when following the line of the stems.