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Elizabethan half-and-turn stitch icon
Elizabethan half-and-turn stitch

Elizabethan half-and-turn stitch main image

This Elizabethan stitch consists of half cross tent stitches alternating with short straight stitches; together they form a saw tooth effect.  When worked in silk on an open weave fabric, the tension of the stitches opens up the ground fabric like a pulled thread stitch.

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 half-and-turn stitch is generously sponsored by Rosalind Grant Robertson for maternal Aunt Eileen Higgs

Method

1

Working from the base up, complete a diagonal stitch lying bottom right to top left across two intersections.

2

Bring the needle up two threads to the right and make a horizontal stitch to the left over two threads.

3

Bring the needle up two threads to the right and repeat the last two steps to complete the first column.

4

To start the next row, bring the needle up two threads to the right and make a horizontal stitch to the right over two threads.

5

Bring the needle up two threads to the right and make a diagonal stitch across two intersections.

6

Bring the needle up two threads to the right and repeat the last two steps to complete the second column.
Continue to fill the space.

Elizabethan half-and-turn stitch method stage 7 photograph
7

A photo showing the reverse of the pattern.

Elizabethan half-and-turn stitch method stage 8 photograph
8

This photograph shows the stitch when the silk thread is pulled on a softer evenweave linen.

Elizabethan half-and-turn stitch

Structure of stitch

Common uses

References

  • Jacqui Carey, Elizabethan Stitches - a guide to historic English needlework (2012) , p.36