Cross stitch, Needlecraft and Embroidery Glossary: Macedonian stitch to Mylar

A comprehensive illustrated needlecraft dictionary with clear definitions and working diagrams. Includes 766 terms used in cross stitch, embroidery, tapestry, blackwork, and goldwork. (Click thumbnails to enlarge.)

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M
A free embroidery filling stitch.

Macedonian stitch This is worked in horizontal rows using small stitches.

A free embroidery stitch. Magic Chain stitch

Thread the needle with two colours. Come out at A and insert needle at B holding one loop under the needle with the thumb. That colour will make a chain, next time hold down other colour to alternate colours.
Also known as chequered chain stitch.

A counted thread stitch . Maltese Cross

A large feature stitch used singly usually in samplers. First lay straight stitches following the numbers on the diagram and being careful to weave over and under. The lattice is then laced firstly by bringing the thread out at the arrow and passing under and over the intersections as illustrated, finishing at the same point before taking the thread to the back of the work again.

A lustrous embroidery thread made of 100% Viscose/Rayon with a sheen. It can be stranded down to one ply.
A counted thread stitch giving the impression of opposing triangles.Milanese stitch

Diagonal stitches are worked two on each diagonal, the first row over four intersections and one and then three and two intersections, two and three intersections and one and four intersections and so on.Photo milanese Oriental stitch and straight milanese stitch are variations.

A free embroidery stitch used for gold work. Mille Fleur Pattern Couching

An area is filled with horizontal rows , turning sharply at the end of each row and the couching threads are placed in a `flower ' pattern as shown.

See also Couching, Gold work
A counted thread stitch variation of herringbone stitch.Mirrored Herringbone stitch

Stitches are worked diagonally across six fabric thread intersections with each stitch followed by one parallel and two threads to the right as shown in the diagram.

A counted thread stitch . Modified Leviathan stitch

A large version of Leviathan where the first large cross stitch is made over six fabric intersections. Follow the numbering as shown finishing with an upright cross in the centre.

A fine cotton canvas made in Denmark, available in white, pastels and Christmas colours. It is a good alternative to evenweave linen for working samplers where the background is left unworked. This is called gongress cloth in the UK.
See also Canvas
Similar to evenweave canvas but the threads pass through each other where they intersect. This means that the fabric does not easily unravel and so can be trimmed close to the worked area, useful for small items such as napkin rings. To tell the difference run your fingers over the canvas, with mono interlock there are no ridges.
See also Canvas
Initials letters used to personalise items.
A counted thread stitch.Montenegrin Cross stitch

Work from left to right. Bring out needle at bottom of cross at left. Insert needle eight threads to right and four threads up, then bring out four threads to right of starting point. Insert again four threads up from starting place and bring out in the same place as last time. Insert four threads up and bring out again at same place as last time. Continue along row.

A counted thread stitch which is normally worked in two colours. Moorish stitch

Work from left to right diagonally down across fabric. One colour is used for the squares made up of stitches worked diagonally over two, four, six, four, two and so intersections. The second colour follows the squares but is always worked over two intersections.

A counted thread stitch. Mosaic filling stitch

Work four blocks of 4 satin stitches over three threads each to form a square as shown in diagram. Then bring thread through at bottom right corner of inner square. Work a four sided stitch in inner square bringing needle out again at starting point and work cross stitch in centre.
This can also be used in drawn fabric work except that the stitches are pulled tightly.

A counted thread stitch Mosaic stitch

Three diagonal stitches are worked over 1, 2 and 1 thread to form a small box .

A counted thread stitch Mosaic stitch with Tent stitch

A variation of mosaic stitch where mosaic boxes are alternated with the same area worked in tent stitch to give a checkerboard pattern. Very similar to chequer stitch but each square is worked over a smaller area.

A counted thread stitch . Mosaic variation

Four diagonal stitches each over two fabric threads are worked to make a small diamond. When the area is filled with diamonds small upright cross stitches are worked in the centre of each diamond in the same or contrasting colour.

A free embroidery spot filling stitch.Moss stitch

This is worked in a regular pattern with alternate rows in the space of the previous one. An ordinary cross stitch is worked as a foundation and is then crossed by a longer vertical stitch. This stitch enters the fabric only at the top and bottom and is looped round the centreof the cross stitch , making a twisted chain stitch with a long tail.
Also known as cross and twist stitch.

A surface free embroidery stitch used traditionally in white work It gets its name from a town in Ireland. Mountmellick

This stitch is worked vertically. Come up at A and make s stitch from B to C where B is below and slightly to the right and C is immediately below A. Pull through to give a slanting stitch. Without entering the fabric pass the needle from D to E. Take a vertical stitch going into the same holes from A to C and looping the thread under the needle, draw through. This completes one stitch. Start the next stitch by making a stitch between F and G , then slide the needle under the slanting stitch as before. Go in at C right inside the stitch as in chain stitch and come out at G and so on. This is best worked in heavy thread.

See also Chain stitch
A counted thread stitch Multiple cross stitch

Work double cross stitches as shown and then work basic cross stitches over the arms of the double crosses. Finally work eight small stitches over one thread going into the central hole and pulling these very firmly.

A counted thread stitch Multiple rice stitch

A variation on rice stitch with the initial cross stitch made over an even number of threads of 8 or above and each arm crossed with smaller diagonal stitches as shown. See also triple rice stitch.

An evenweave cotton fabric 126 threads to 10 cms, 32 count
A mirror like aluminium backed with linen or cotton which can be cut and used as a substitute for mirrors in shisha work.
See also Shisha work
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z Others Index
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