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Ladder stitch (pulled thread) icon
Ladder stitch (pulled thread)

  • Jacob's ladder stitch
  • Hem stitch - Ladder
Ladder stitch (pulled thread) main image

A pulled thread band used in whitework, resulting in what looks like a series of very small eyelets in a line, ideal for stems and veins.

Dedicated to Philippa Naylor.

Method

Ladder stitch (pulled thread) method stage 1 photograph
1

Begin with a couple of holding stitches, then work an even backstitch pulling the thread to create holes between each stitch.

Ladder stitch (pulled thread) method stage 2 photograph
2

Lay a couching thread down each side of the back stitch and attach at the top with a small stitch.

Ladder stitch (pulled thread) method stage 3 photograph
3

Bring the needle up in the first hole and stitch over the first backstitch with good tension.

Ladder stitch (pulled thread) method stage 4 photograph
4

Bring the needle up in the fabric to the right of the first hole and stitch over the laid thread by taking the needle back down into the first hole.

Ladder stitch (pulled thread) method stage 5 photograph
5

Bring the needle up in the second hole and stitch over the backstitch above, again with good tension.

Ladder stitch (pulled thread) method stage 6 photograph
6

Continue securing the laid thread on the right side in the same way to the end of the area.

Ladder stitch (pulled thread) method stage 7 photograph
7

Repeat this pattern down the left hand side.

Ladder stitch (pulled thread) method stage 8 photograph
8

Plunge the couching thread neatly at the bottom of the back stitch.

Ladder stitch (pulled thread)

Structure of stitch

Effectively a back stitch pulled with enough tension to open the fabric threads between each stitch. As the the back stitch is in progress the needle is taken off to the side to couch down an outline at the same time.

Embroidery Techniques

Related Stitches

Identifying Ladder stitch (pulled thread)

​Two parallel rows of thread applied to each side of a back stitch base to create a decorative beaded effect known as a ladder stitch.

References

  • Mary Thomas, Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches (1934) , p.114