clear navigate_before

Puncetto Valsesiano icon
Puncetto Valsesiano

  • Puncetto
  • Punto Avorio
  • Valsesian stitch
Puncetto Valsesiano main image

This is a simple needlelace stitch which loops the thread in front of the needle and returns back behind it.  When worked in rows the stitch is worked back and forth in alternate directions with the action of the stitch being reversed.

Most authors refer to this stitch as a freehand needlelace stitch which means it is worked in the hand by ‘casting on’ a number of stitches which then form the basis for subsequent rows.  However, it can also be used as an edging stitch; our instructions show this method in order to show the working clearly.

A corded version of this stitch called Point de Turque will feature in a future release.

Puncetto Valsesiano originated in Valsesio, north western Italy, as part of the Valsesian needlelace tradition.  It is used to form intricate patterns normally based on a grid.  It is hard to establish when the stitch was first used, although it certainly seems to have been in existence during the 17th century as a painting of that period shows a woman stitching a piece of needlelace and a contemporary legal document lists a handkerchief adorned with ‘ponchietto’.

The alternative name ‘punto avorio’ translates as ivory stitch and references the appearance of a tightly worked piece of needlelace.

Puncetto Valsesiano is generously sponsored by Alison Smith


Puncetto Valsesiano uses the continental needlelace hand position where the needle points away from the stitcher and the piece is worked from the bottom to the top (the English needlelace hand position typically points the needle towards the stitcher).

The stitch is worked in rows, back and forth and the direction of the thread wrap is reversed when the direction is reversed.  The thread is always wrapped in front of the needle first, in the same direction as the direction of travel, and then behind the needle.


Bring your thread out near the edge of the fabric and then take it back into the fabric just to the right.  Wrap your thread in front of your needle and back behind it (in an anti-clockwise direction).


Hold your needle and wrapped thread between your finger and thumb and draw the needle through.


Pull your thread taut.


Insert your needle into the fabric slightly to the right of the previous stitch and repeat the stitch.


When you reach the end of the row, insert your needle under the horizontal thread between the previous two stitches.


Wrap your thread around your needle, taking it first in front of and then behind the needle, then pull the knot taut.  (The thread wrapping always goes in front of the needle first, so the direction is reversed from the previous row.)


Continue forming stitches in this way, changing the thread wrapping direction at the end of each row.


Continue working as many rows as you need to achieve the desired shape.

Puncetto Valsesiano

Structure of stitch

Embroidery Techniques

Related Stitches