Cross stitch, Needlecraft and Embroidery Glossary: Lace stitch to Lurex threads

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.)

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
L
A counted thread stitch used in drawn fabric work. Lace stitch

Work from right to left. Begin four threads in from end of stitch line and work two horizontal stitches from this point to the end of line. Bring needle up at starting point and make two stitches to point four threads up and two threads to the right. Bring needle through four threads to left of point and work two stitches back to point, bring needle through again four threads to left. Make two stitches to starting point and then bring needle through four stitches to the left ready to start next stitch. Continue in this way. Also known as point turc, three sided stitch, turkish stitch and bermuda faggoting

A free embroidery stitch.Laced backstitch

Work a row of backstitch. Interlace with a contrasting or toning thread as shown in the diagram. Also known as Pekinese stitch, forbidden or blind stitch.

A free embroidery filling stitch. Laced herringbone filling stitch

Start with a square of threads as shown and following the diagram weave the needle over and under without passing through the fabric again until the stitch is completed.

A free embroidery stitch Laced Herringbone stitch

First work a row of herringbone stitch but in a slightly different way with the thread being taken under rather than over the first stitch as shown. The interlacing is worked on the front of the fabric with the thread being taken under the first stitch and then encircled twice round the crossed stitches at the top, the thread being taken over and under alternately and then brought down to the lower edge and encircled one and a half times around these crossed stitches and so on as illustrated.

A free embroidery ground covering filling stitch variation of laced star filling stitch. Laced Persian star filling stitch

First worked a square of threads as shown and then weave the needle over and under without entering the fabric again until the complete stitch is worked.

A free embroidery ground covering filling stitch Laced star filling stitch

First worked a square of threads as shown and then weave the needle over and under without entering the fabric again until the complete stitch is worked.

A counted thread stitch used in drawn thread work or hardanger Ladder hem stitch

Draw out two or three threads from the fabric and then turn up the hem to one thread from the withdrawn thread. Fasten thread at left and then pass thread from right to left under two of the border threads bring needle and turn to face horizontally. Then make another stitch over two threads at right angles to the first as simple hem stitch. A second row of stitches is worked at the other edge of the border as in diagram. See also zigzag hem stitch, tied hemstitch, somersault stitch and beaded somersault stitch.

A free embroidery stitch. Ladder stitch

Using a blunt (tapestry) needle come up an A and insert the needle at B. Come up again at C a little to the left and above B and insert the needle at D immediately below B, bringing the needle out again at E which is below A. Without going through the fabric make a knot by slipping the needle through the first stitch from F to G and pull tight. Then pass the needle though at the other side from H to J through the cross of the first two stitches. Insert the needle just below D at K and come out again at L. Again without going through the material slip the needle from M to N under the cross made by the stitch above and again on the right from O to P. Repeat until the bottom of the shape.

Lagartera is a very old form of counted thread embroidery originating in a Spanish village of that name. The designs are worked in satin stitch blocks with double running stitch in black or brown creating patterns around those.
A free embroidery stitch which is an economical method of working satin stitch.Laid work

All the thread is kept on the surface. Instead of carrying the thread behind the work a tiny stitch of one or two threads is picked up and the thread carried over the surface to the other side.
Also known as surface satin stitch.

A free embroidery stitch. Laid work diagonally

Cover area with laid work then come up and A and down at B. This stitch lies across the widest area of the shape to set the correct angle for the following stitches. Come up at C and down at D making a line parallel to the first and about a quarter of an inch above it. Continue upwards and then downwards from the centre until the whole shape is laid with parallel lines. These lines must then be tied down with small stitches coming up at E and going down at F, and each small tied stitch spaced half way between those of the row above.

See also Laid work
A free embroidery stitch used to cover large areas economically. Laid Work with crossbars

This is worked with only small stitches on the reverse. Start at the widest part of the shape. Come up and A and down at B, up again at C adjacent to B and down at D adjacent to A. Continue is one direction and then starting at the centre again fill in the remaining area. The cross bars are laid on top again starting at the widest area, coming up at E and down at F and up at G and down at H, but the lines although still parallel are about one quarter of an inch apart. When the first diagonals are complete another set are laid to make perfect diamonds. A small stitch is then made at each intersection to complete.

A metallic 12 stranded thread or floss for hand embroidery. Since metallic threads are prone to unravel it is best to use a needle threader so that the end of the thread is disturbed less.
A counted thread stitch. Large and straight cross stitch

First work large scale cross stitch over four threads over the whole area and then add small upright crosses worked over two threads in the diamond shaped spaces with the horizontal stitch on top. Complete each cross as you go and don`t work half crosses around the edges. The large crosses and upright crosses can be in contrasting colours.

A counted thread stitch . Lattice

Two versions are illustrated suitable for smaller or larger areas. Both are worked with vertical straight and the effects are best achieved using more than one colour.Lattice 2

A counted thread stitch. Lazy Daisy and double cross stitch

Work 8 double cross stitches as shown and then 8 lazy daisy stitches all radiating from the hole in the centre and anchor them down between the double cross stitches as in the diagram.

A free embroidery stitch and a counted thread stitch which is very useful for forming petals and leaves. The free embroidery stitch is a variation of chain stitch. Lazy Daisy stitch

It is worked in the same way as chain stitch but the needle is inserted again just below thread to hold it down.Photo daisy

Also known as detached chain stitch or daisy stitch. A variation called long tailed lazy daisy stitch has smaller loops and longer tying down stitches made towards the centre.

The counted thread variation is worked similarly as shown. Form a loop at the centre of the petal and hold this loop down with a second small stitch two diagonal intersections from the base.Lazy daisy

This is also a basic stitch in ribbon embroidery where it is used to make flowers and leaves. Lazy daisy ribbon

This stitch has a counted thread and a free embroidery stitch variation. Leaf stitch

For a free embroidery stitch, Start at the bottom of the shape. Bring needle through to left of centre and make a diagonal stitch to the right edge. Bring needle through to right of centre, level with starting point and make a diagonal stitch to the left edge. Bring thread up again to the left of centre just above the starting point and continue in this way. Counted leaf

To work the counted stitch, make four diagonal stitches above each other over four intersections, then next stitch one stitch up over four threads vertically and three horizontally. The next stitch one up worked over four vertically and two horizontally. The next stitch two threads up worked vertically over three threads to form the apex of the leaf and the other side of the leaf in the same way. Continue as shown leaving no gaps between motifs.

A counted thread stitch. Leviathan stitch

Work a single cross over four threads. Bring needle out at centre of bottom cross and insert at top of cross then bring out at centre of right and at centre of left. Photo double cross
Also known as double cross stitch and smyrna cross stitch.

An evenweave cotton fabric 107 threads to 10 cms, 27 count
An evenweave fabric which has an elegant sheen, a smooth surface and fine irregular structure of flax fibre

It comes in a range from fine 55 count to rustic rough cloth of 14 count.

A counted thread stitch Linen stitch

This stitch is worked from bottom left to top right and back again, first working the horizontal stitches and then the vertical on the return. All stitches are worked over two threads

A free embroidery spot filling stitch.Link filling stitch

These lazy daisy stitches are worked in regular rows with alternate rows moved across a space as shown. Also known as link powdering and detached chain filling.

A free embroidery spot filling stitch.Link powdering

These lazy daisy stitches are worked in regular rows with alternate rows moved across a space as shown. Also known as link filling stitch and detached chain filling.

A free embroidery stitch for lines and borders.Link stitch

Work from left to right. Bring needle out at the end of the line. Make a small vertical stitch on the line towards the left. Holding the working thread down with the thumb, slip needle under the first stitch from top to bottom without going through the fabric. Pull thread through until a loop is formed, pass the needle under this loop and pull thread away towards the left.
Also known as knotted chain stitch.

A counted thread stitch Linked stitch

This is a quick background or filling stitch. As shown five vertical stitches are worked over six threads with one horizontal straight stitch but the number of threads can be altered. To stagger the rows the block must be worked over an even number of threads.

A free embroidery stitch. Lock Stitch

First work a row of vertical straight stitches from left to right. Then work back lacing thread through stitches as shown in the diagram. Then lace the other side the other side of the stitch in exactly the same way.
The lacing thread can be a contrasting one slightly thicker if required.

A counted thread stitch Long and short oblique stitch

Worked in two separate rows starting from lower left hand corner. Take needle diagonally up to right over six intersections, insert and bring out two threads below. Take up to the left over two intersections and bring out two threads above starting point ready for next stitch. Continue to end.
The second row is worked in the same way except that the cross is formed at the bottom of the long stitch.
Also known as the fishbone stitch.

See also Fishbone stitch
A free embroidery stitch and a counted thread stitch.

The free embroidery stitch is used to shade large areas in silk and crewel embroidery . Long and short stitch

The first row of stitches are alternately long and short stitches and the following rows are stitches of an even length until the last row of the area where stitch length is varied to finish the filling. Photo long and short
This can be used with fine shading colours. A version called surface long and short stitch is more economical with floss. Other names for this stitch are embroidery stitch, shading stitch, tapestry shading stitch, plumage stitch, feather work and opus plumarium.

Counted long and shortThe counted thread stitch is worked alternately from left to right and right to left. On the first row stitches over two and four fabric threads alternate and on the return a stitch over two is below a stitch over four and a stitch over four is below a stitch over two as shown.

A counted thread stitch. Long armed cross stitch

Work from left to right. Start at bottom left and work the bigger part of the stitch to top right, then bring needle through below at bottom right and work up to top left, which is only halfway to the starting point. Bring needle up below to start next stitch.
Also known as Plaited slav stitch and long legged cross stitch.

A free embroidery stitch used for lines, borders and filling. Long armed feather stitch

Work from top to bottom. Bring needle up at top of line to be covered. Insert to left and a little lower down. Bring out in centre and draw needle through over working thread. Continue in this way alternating sides. See also feather stitch.
Also known as persian stitch, cretan stitch and when worked in a straight line as quill stitch and alternating buttonhole stitch.

A counted thread variation of leviathan stitch.Long armed Leviathan stitch

Work as shown in the diagram following the numbers.

A counted thread stitch. Long legged cross stitch

Work from left to right. Start at bottom left and work the bigger part of the stitch to top right, then bring needle through below at bottom right and work up to top left, which is only halfway to the starting point. Bring needle up below to start next stitch.
Also known as Plaited slav stitch and long armed cross stitch

A counted thread stitch. Long stitch

Worked with vertical stitches as shown in the diagram each row is worked in the same holes as the row below, leaving no gaps and four rows form the pattern.
Also known as straight filling stitch.

A counted thread stitch Long stitch eyelet star

Used in hardanger designs, this is worked from a central hole following the numbers in the diagram.

See also Hardanger
A counted thread stitch worked vertically as shown in the illustration with no gaps.Long stitch variation
A free embroidery stitch which can be used singly or in a pattern as shown.Long tack knot stitch

Bring your needle out at A and twist the thread once around the needle. Pull gently so that the thread fits around the needle and still holding the thread so that it doesn`t loosen, insert it at B about a quarter of an inch away from A. Pull gently through. Also known as italian knot, long tailed french knot and french knots on stalks.

A free embroidery stitch which can be used singly or in a pattern as shown.Long tailed French knots

Bring your needle out at A and twist the thread once around the needle. Pull gently so that the thread fits around the needle and still holding the thread so that it doesn`t loosen, insert it at B about a quarter of an inch away from A. Pull gently through. Also known as italian knot, french knots on stalks and long tack knot stitch.

A free embroidery stitch variation of lazy daisy stitchLong tailed lazy daisy stitch

Hold thread down with thumb, insert needle close to where it emerged and bring out a short distance away. Bring needle out again within loop and make a long tying down stitch worked towards centre as illustrated.

Worked on edges or needlework bars.with buttonhole stitch.Loop or pinned Picot

This is worked at intervals along a buttonhole edging as illustrated with the use of a pin making it easier.

A free embroidery stitch Loop stitch

Work from left to right. Bring needle through in centre of band. Insert needle a little to left of starting point at top of band and come through immediately below at bottom of band. Needle then loops the thread over the first stitch without passing through fabric as in the diagram.

Length and angle of stitch can produce variations.

A free embroidery stitch used in stump work. Looped stem stitch

Work as regular stem stitch, but use a heavy thread and leave each stitch loose to form a loop as shown

A counted thread stitch. Lopsided Herringbone stitch

Work the stitches as indicated by the numbering in the diagram, working straight diagonal stitches in opposite direction. This stitch can be worked larger or smaller or in thicker thread if more dense coverage is required.

A counted thread stitch Lozenge satin stitch

This is worked in vertical satin stitches as shown and can be used to cover large areas quickly.

See also Satin stitch
An evenweave cotton fabric 100 threads to 10 cms, 25 count
High quality synthetic threads made as couching threads and twists and come in a variety of colours as well as silver and gold.

Lurex passing threads and cords are also available in golds and silvers.

See also Couching
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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