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Honeycomb filling icon
Honeycomb filling

  • pulled honeycomb stitch

This pulled thread stitch provides a textured hexagonal pattern, hence the name ‘honeycomb’.  It is formed by horizontal and vertical stitches which are pulled tight to create the diagonal sides of the hexagons.  The vertical stitches are worked twice into the same holes to keep sufficient tension on the working thread.

The pattern of the stitches has similarities with the blackwork stitch bricked wave (pattern): however, when worked on a fairly open-weave linen and with stitches pulled tight, honeycomb filling gives a completely different effect.

Honeycomb filling is generously sponsored by Sue Lown

Method

1

Using a tapestry needle, bring the thread up to the surface and then back down over 3 threads of the canvas creating a horizontal stitch from right to left.

2

Bring the needle up to the surface three threads below.

3

Count three threads up and take the needle into the previous hole to make a vertical stitch.  Bring the needle up three threads below and pull the stitch tight to distort the fabric threads.

4

Create a horizontal stitch from left to right over three threads and bring the needle up to the surface three threads below.

5

Repeat the vertical wrapping stitch from before: take the needle back vertically over the three threads and up into the same hole effectively wrapping the canvas threads, again pulling taut.

6

Create a horizontal stitch from right to left over three threads and bring the needle up to the surface three threads below and make another vertical wrap.

7

Repeat this sequence to the end of the row.

8

Before starting a horizontal stitch on the next row, secure on the underside by passing the needle through a stitch on the reverse.

9

Repeat the sequence in the opposite direction

10

Work back down the next row by repeating the first row, there should be no need to secure the thread on the underside when working in this direction.

11

Repeat this sequence up and down to fill the space.

12

Honeycomb filling stitched using a traditional white thread

Honeycomb filling

Structure of stitch

Embroidery Techniques

Identifying Honeycomb filling

​Horizontal stitches are single. Vertical stitches, except for the beginning and end of each row, are worked twice into the same holes.

References

  • Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches (1934) , p.124