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Bunched couching icon
Bunched couching

  • Puffy couching
Bunched couching main image

This version of couching creates a wide line which is cinched in at regular intervals.  To be effective the laid element needs to be worked in either multiple strands of a thread or a loosely woven single thread.

Bunched couching is generously sponsored by Carol Tewes Ganse in memory of Ellie Bart, and in honor of her sister, Emma Pellerito



Take the needle through the fabric and, leaving a tail on the surface, bring the needle back up very close.


Bring the two lengths together and lay them in the direction to be stitched.


Secure a second thread of either the same or a contrasting colour.


Couch over the laid thread, without pulling the laid thread or putting it under any tension.


The couching stitches should be small and tight: angle the needle so it hugs the laid thread and pull taut.


Continue couching stitches at equal intervals along the length of the laid threads.

Bunched couching

Structure of stitch

Embroidery Techniques

Related Stitches

Identifying Bunched couching

Unlike regular couching where the width of the laid thread doesn’t vary; bunched couching pulls the laid thread(s) tightly so that they expand in between the couching stitches.


  • Jennifer Campbell, Ann-Marie Bakewell, Guide to Embroidery Stitches (2004) , p.104
  • Betty Barnden, The Embroidery Stitch Bible (2003) , p.92