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Milanese stitch icon
Milanese stitch

This is a canvaswork filling stitch consisting of diagonally offset triangles.

Milanese stitch is generously sponsored by Jessica Fanego


Milanese stitch gives a flat, medium-sized pattern repeat which fills in quickly. It is good for backgrounds.
The triangles of this stitch can also be made with horizontal stitches across two, four, six and eight threads of canvas to make straight Milanese stitch. This stitch has straight vertical bands of the pattern.


For the first unit, make a tent stitch across one canvas intersection.


Below it make a stitch across two intersections, then three, then four.


Repeat this sequence of stitches over one, two, three and four canvas intersections in a diagonal row from top left to bottom right.


Work the next row of triangles in reverse, so that they fit into the gaps of the first row. The smallest stitch of one row should always be next to the largest stitch of the following row.

Milanese stitch

Structure of stitch

This stitch is worked in diagonal rows of triangular units.

Embroidery Techniques


  • Rachel Doyle, RSN Essential Stitch Guides: Canvaswork (2013) , p.70
  • Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches (1934) , p.149–50