- Shaped eyelet
- Eyelet hole
- Overcast eyelet
- Overcast edge
A large eyelet is a large round hole in the fabric with stitched edges. The hole is made by cutting the threads of the fabric and then stitching over the edge of the eyelet to secure it.
Large eyelets have been a feature of Hedebo embroidery from the mid 19th century. They have also been used in various sizes and shapes in Broderie Anglaise since its inception in the later 19th century.
Work a line of running stitch around the shape. The stitches should be about 2mm long. A single line of running stitch may be enough on fine fabric, but on coarse fabric double running stitch will provide more strength (reverse the stitch direction and stitch another circle of running stitch between the existing stitches).
Insert the tip of a pair of very sharp embroidery scissors into the centre of the shape, and snip towards one end of the shape, being very careful not to cut your stitching.
Turn the scissors around and snip to the other end of the shape.
Carefully make two more cuts, from the middle to either side.
Gently fold each quarter of the fabric back underneath the surrounding fabric.
Bring the needle up about 2mm outside the running stitch line, and then pass the needle through the hole.
Bring the needle up again next to the first stitch and then back through the hole again.
Continue all around the eyelet, trying to keep an even tension in the stitches and not distorting the fabric.
Identifying Large eyelet
A round hole larger than 5mm with a smooth overcast edge to prevent the fabric fraying.
S. F. A. Caulfeild, Blanche C. Saward, The Dictionary of Needlework (1882) , p.182
Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches (1934) , p.85–6
Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, 'Broderie Anglaise', TRC Leiden (2017). Available at: https://www.trc-leiden.nl/trc-needles/regional-traditions/europe-and-north-america/embroideries/broderie-anglaise (Accessed: 25 August 2021)
'Hedebo cutwork', Greve Museum, Denmark. Available at: http://hedebosyning.dk/hedeboeng/sy-selv/hulgang (Accessed: 02 September 2021)