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Battlement couching icon
Battlement couching

  • Battlement Trellis
  • Shaded cross bar
Battlement couching main image

This stitch consists of couched laid threads which form layers of trellis, slightly offset from the previous layer to let the all of the layers show.

For more background see the entry for trellis stitch.

The earliest evidence we have of this stitch are two 17th century English embroidered bookbindings held by the British Library.  Both books are religious texts, one is dated 1619 and the other 1627.  Rather than couching the corners of the trellis the stitcher has interwoven some of the threads to hold them in place, but the perspective element of the stitch is clearly used.

Battlement couching is generously sponsored by Jacqui McDonald


When starting the base trellis, plan the number of layers, and space the grid appropriately to ensure the size of a square will accommodate the number of threads planned.

Battlement couching method stage 1 photograph

Start by laying a basic square trellis without securing the threads at the intersections.

Battlement couching method stage 2 photograph

Choose another shade or colour and lay another trellis slightly offset from to the first trellis.

Battlement couching method stage 3 photograph

Ensure you lay the vertical and horizontal threads in the same order as the first layer of trellis.

Battlement couching method stage 4 photograph

You also need to lay both the vertical and horizontal threads to the inside or outside of an intersection and keep it consistent to achieve the pattern.

Battlement couching method stage 5 photograph

Continue to layer extra colours or shades in the same way ensuring not to overcrowd the threads.

Battlement couching method stage 6 photograph

You can neaten the threads by repositioning any that don’t quite line up.

Battlement couching method stage 7 photograph

Once satisfied with the amount of layers the top layer should be held down to the fabric with a stitch over each intersection. Start from the centre and work out.

Battlement couching

Structure of stitch

Couched laid threads, forming layers of adjacent trellis

Common uses

A fairly solid and quick filling stitch

Embroidery Techniques