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Elizabethan corded trellis stitch icon
Elizabethan corded trellis stitch

Elizabethan corded trellis stitch main image

This Elizabethan needlelace stitch is made by working single Brussels stitches into the loops of the previous row.  It has similarities with Elizabethan Ceylon stitch (the major differences are that this stitch is worked into the stitches on the previous row, rather than around them, and this stitch is corded).  The name arose because the appearance of the stitch is similar to trellis stitch (needlelace) which will feature in a future RSN Stitch Bank release, although structurally the stitches are different.

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 trellis stitch is generously sponsored by Rosalind Grant Robertson for my mother Elizabeth Peacock Pochin née Higgs, who smocked all my dresses and started me stitching before I was three

Method

To keep the edge of your needlelace straight, work the first stitch of the row into the last loop of the previous row. To decrease the number of stitches in a row, skip the first stitch of the previous row. To increase the number of stitches, add an extra loop at the edge. The example in the main picture shows the right edge as a straight line and the left edge decreasing the number of stitches.

The example below is worked in the hand with two threads in different colours to show the stitch more clearly.

 

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1

Hold the two threads together and make a knot at the end. Keep this to the left side.

2

Work a buttonhole stitch over the cord (the darker purple thread in this case).

3

Continue working buttonhole stitches from left to right as required.

4

At the end of the row, lay the cord to the left along the top of the previous row. To keep the edge straight insert the needle into the last stitch of the previous row and under the cord. Wrap the thread behind the needle from right to left and pull through.

Elizabethan corded trellis stitch method stage 5 photograph
5

Insert the needle into the next stitch, go under the cord and over the working thread and pull through.

Elizabethan corded trellis stitch method stage 6 photograph
6

Continue working buttonhole stitches from right to left.

Elizabethan corded trellis stitch method stage 7 photograph
7

At the end of the row, fold the cord to the right.

Elizabethan corded trellis stitch method stage 8 photograph
8

This edge shows how to decrease the shape by inserting the needle into the last but one stitch of the previous row. As usual also take your needle under the cord, wrap the thread behind the needle from left to right and pull through.

Elizabethan corded trellis stitch method stage 9 photograph
9

Insert the needle into the next stitch and continue working left to right.

Elizabethan corded trellis stitch method stage 10 photograph
10

Continue working in the same manner as required.

Elizabethan corded trellis stitch method stage 11 photograph
11

Secure the ends of the thread on the reverse if required.

Elizabethan corded trellis stitch

Common uses

Embroidery Techniques

References

  • Jacqui Carey, Sweet Bags - an investigation into 16th and 17th century needlework (2009) , p.108
  • Jacqui Carey, Elizabethan Stitches - a guide to historic English needlework (2012) , p.128