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Drawn thread preparation with buttonhole edges icon
Drawn thread preparation with buttonhole edges

Drawn thread preparation with buttonhole edges main image

This method of drawn thread preparation is often used when you are working drawn thread right up to some other stitching. In this example, a buttonhole edge is used. However, the edge could use other stitches such as satin stitch (frequently seen in Hardanger work) or trailing.

Dedicated to Isobel Clarke


Just like the standard drawn thread preparation, it is advisable to loosen the fabric so that it hangs slack in the frame, just before you remove the threads.


Start by working a running stitch on the outline.


Work a double running stitch by going back and filling in the gaps between the running stitches.


Repeat the stitching on the other side of the drawn thread area.


Using buttonhole stitch, cover the double running stitch. The buttonhole edge should be towards the centre of the area which will be drawn.


Make sure that the buttonhole stitch is very close to the double running stitch: in this example the buttonhole stitch is one ground fabric thread away from the double running stitch.


Cut one of the lengthways threads of the ground fabric thread in the middle of the area to be drawn.


Withdraw the thread up to the buttonhole stitch.


Push the blade of your scissors against the buttonhole stitch, hold the thread taut and snip it away.


Repeat on the other side, as close as possible to the buttonhole stitch.


Repeat for each lengthways thread as required. Be careful not to cut the buttonhole stitch or the crossing ground fabric threads.

Drawn thread preparation with buttonhole edges

Structure of stitch


  • Lizzy Lansberry, RSN Essential Stitch Guides: Whitework (2012) , p.67
  • Various Authors, The Royal School of Needlework Book of Embroidery (2018) , p.337