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Back stitch trellis icon
Back stitch trellis

This stitch uses back stitch to form a diagonal trellis design.

Unlike most stitched trellises which feature laid stitches couched to form a grid pattern, each diamond within the trellis is formed from four backstitches.

Back stitch trellis is generously sponsored by Mary Janet Kepher


This pattern can be stitched straight on the grain of the fabric, as well as diagonal to the grain.


Using a back stitch, complete a diagonal line across the widest part of the area to be stitched. Each stitch should aim to be the same length.


Continue to work parallel lines across the shape. The distance between each line should be equal to the length of one stitch and the stitch ends should line up so they will ultimately form two sides of each square of the trellis.


Now work the same back stitch in the opposite direction. Each stitch will share a hole with the previous stitches where they intersect.


Continue to fill the shape, forming squares

Back stitch trellis

Structure of stitch

Common uses

This is a great alternative to the usual laid trellis, with the benefit of not having to secure with an extra stitch over the intersections.

Embroidery Techniques

A useful open filling stitch, which can be easily decorated with the addition of other stitches.

Identifying Back stitch trellis

This trellis can be identified from the intersections: most trellises feature some form of couching stitch to anchor crossing threads; this version has a ‘dip’ where one stitch ends and the next starts at each intersection.


  • Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches (1934) , p.6