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Festoon filling stitch icon
Festoon filling stitch

This pulled thread stitch forms a pattern which resembles a garland (hence the name, as a festoon is something which is hung in a curve). It is worked entirely in back stitch from right to left.

The name ‘festoon’ features in many stitch names: the Italian punto a festone is known as buttonhole stitch in English, although it literally translates as festoon stitch; the French point de feston is an alternative name for single Brussels stitch.

Generously sponsored by Catherine Reavy in memory of Beatrice Monk


Each stitch should be pulled tightly as it is worked to emphasise the pattern of regular wavy scalloped rows.


Bring the needle up at the top right of the shape to be filled, two fabric threads from the edge.


Take down the needle two threads to the right.


Pull tight.


Bring the needle up again two threads to the left and two threads down.


Insert the needle where it first emerged.


Bring the needle up two threads to the left and four threads down, and insert where the previous stitch emerged.


Bring the needle up two threads to the left, and work a back stitch.


Bring the needle up two threads to the left and two threads up to start making a scallop shape.


Bring the needle up two threads up and work a back stitch.


Continue working back stitches following the festoon outline as shown in the diagram to form a garland pattern.


Work until the pattern reaches to the other side of the edge. The second row should be spaced six fabric threads below the first row. Continue in this way to fill the area.

Festoon filling stitch

Structure of stitch

Embroidery Techniques

Related Stitches


  • Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches (1934) , p.96–7
  • Kate Haxell, The Stitch Bible (2012)