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Jacquard stitch icon
Jacquard stitch

Jacquard stitch main image

This canvaswork stitch consist of alternate diagonal rows of Byzantine stitch and tent stitch.  The two stitches create diagonal zigzag stripes, alternately wide and narrow.

The name ‘Jacquard’ presumably refers to the Jacquard machine, a device fitted to a loom which enables the weaving of complex designs.  The machine was patented in 1804, which suggests the stitch must date from the 19th century.  Thérèse de Dillmont’s 1890 Encyclopedia of Needlework supports this theory as she says it can be used to “produce the effect of brocaded stuff”. 

Jacquard stitch is generously sponsored by Prof Norma Dawson and Cynthia Batten in memory of Margaret (Pearl) Dawson (1916–2015)


This pattern can be altered by increasing the number of stitches within each step and/or the number of intersections each stitch spans.


Start with a horizontal row of six diagonal stitches, each over two intersections of the canvas, laying bottom left to top right.


To achieve the stepped appearance, complete a further five diagonal stitches in a vertical column.


Continue across the shape with 5 stitches across and 5 stitches down.


The adjacent rows are again worked in a stepped appearance but with a shorter stitch over one intersection of the canvas, like a tent stitch.


Continue to fill the shape with alternate rows of longer and shorter stitches. The photographs show the stitches in two shades in order to illustrate the pattern clearly.

Jacquard stitch

Structure of stitch

Common uses

A Canvas stitch used for filling large areas, producing the effect of a woven fabric.

Embroidery Techniques


  • Jennifer Campbell, Ann-Marie Bakewell, Guide to Embroidery Stitches (2004) , p.187
  • Kate Haxell, The Stitch Bible (2012) , p.149
  • Sarah Whittle, The Needlecraft Stitch Directory (2012) , p.207
  • Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches (1934) , p.136
  • Thérèse De Dillmont, Encyclopedia of Needlework (1886) , p.136-7