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Elizabethan double looped edging icon
Elizabethan double looped edging

Elizabethan double looped edging main image

This stitch is formed by a line of coral stitch, with a thread looped around it in a similar way to Pekinese stitch.  The loops span two knots, so each loop overlaps both the preceding and following loops which gives a textured line.

See Elizabethan looped edging for a similar version of this stitch where the loops overlap less and which is worked on the edge of chain stitch.

N.B. the term ‘edging’ indicates that the loops of the stitch are edging the coral stitch, rather than edging a piece of fabric.

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 double looped edging is generously sponsored by Rosalind Grant Robertson for my paternal aunt, Violet Tylden-Pattenson née Peacock


When working your line of coral stitch, make sure that your knots are sufficiently widely-spaced to allow the looped thread to pass under the thread between them.
This example shows the coral stitch in a different thread from the loops, but if desired the same thread can be used (in which case, work your coral stitch from top to bottom and then, without finishing off your thread, work the loops back in the opposite direction).  The loops require a thread such as gimp or a metal thread to keep their shape.
Swapping to a tapestry needle for the looped element of this stich may make it easier to work.


Work a line of coral stitch and then start your metal thread by bringing it up at the bottom.


Count up two knots, and working from left to right, slide your needle under the thread between the second and third knots.


Count back two coral knots, and working from right to left, slide your needle under both the coral stitch thread and the top of the previous loop.  Pull your thread through.


Slide your needle from left to right under the next empty space between the coral knots.


Count back two coral knots, and working from right to left, slide your needle under all four threads and pull through.  This is very similar to step 2, but there are more threads go underneath.


Continue in this way.


Finish by taking your thread down next to the coral stitch.

Elizabethan double looped edging

Structure of stitch

Embroidery Techniques

Identifying Elizabethan double looped edging

This stitch consists of a central line of coral stitch, outlined with overlapping loops of thread.  Historically, the loops are frequently worked in metal thread, the coral stitch is more likely to be worked in silk.  Also see Elizabethan looped edging for a version of this where the loops overlap less.

The looping thread only pierces the fabric at the start and end of the line.


  • Jacqui Carey, Elizabethan Stitches - a guide to historic English needlework (2012) , p.104