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Elizabethan corded detached buttonhole stitch icon
Elizabethan corded detached buttonhole stitch

Elizabethan corded detached buttonhole stitch main image

This stitch is the Elizabethan version of single corded Brussels stitch.  The main difference is the stitch is worked from the bottom to the top and the uppermost part of the loop has a Z-slanted crossover (like a /); the modern version has an S-slanted crossover (like a \).  Unlike modern needlelace, the stitch does not have a cordonnet encircling it, instead the working thread is taken through the fabric around the edge of the stitched area.

We are indebted to Jacqui Carey for her work in identifying this stitch in extant Elizabethan pieces, and diligent documenting of the working method.  See the References sections for details of her books which describe this and many other Elizabethan stitches.  N.B. the names used are descriptive names assigned by Jacqui Carey as historic records do not give us the names by which they were known.

Elizabethan corded detached buttonhole stitch is generously sponsored by Rosalind Grant-Robertson for my sister, Marian Peacock Pochin

Method

1

Bring your needle up on the right hand side, slightly up from the bottom and take it down opposite on the left hand side to form a horizontal cord.

2

Bring your needle up on the left hand side slightly above where it went down, and take it back down on the bottom line, slightly to the right, as if to form a diagonal stitch over the cording thread.  Leave a small loop on the surface.

3

Bring your needle back up level with the start of the diagonal stitch, tighten the loop and pull your thread through to form your first buttonhole stitch.

4

Slide your needle from bottom to top under the cording thread and over the working thread. Pull through to make a detached buttonhole stitch.

5

Continue working detached buttonhole stitches across the cording thread.

6

When you reach the end of the row, take your thread down through the fabric and back up slightly above.

7

Lay the cording thread across the design area, take it down on the left hand side and back up immediately above.

8

Working from bottom to top, slide your needle under the second buttonhole stitch on the previous row and this row’s cording thread.  Take your needle over the working thread and pull through.

9

Continue in this way.

10

To finish your final row, take your thread down on the right hand side design line.

Elizabethan corded detached buttonhole stitch

Common uses

Embroidery Techniques

References

  • Jacqui Carey, Elizabethan Stitches - a guide to historic English needlework (2012) , p.118

Examples of Elizabethan corded detached buttonhole stitch

© Embroiderers' Guild as part of their digitisation programme, photographed by Ian Lillicrapp

Elizabethan panel (Embroiderers’ Guild)

The green section of the cornflower is worked in Elizabethan corded detached buttonhole stitch with bordered turns. The tips of the petals are worked in the same stitch.

© Embroiderers' Guild as part of their digitisation programme, photographed by Ian Lillicrapp