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Ring picot icon
Ring picot

  • Buttonhole ring picot
  • Buttonhole ring
Ring picot main image

A ring picot is a semi-circular loop, normally on the edge of a piece of fabric, covered in buttonhole stitches.

This picot can itself be embellished with a smaller picot, normally either a simple picot or a loop picot - see the images at the end of the Method below.

Ring picots can be worked so that each semi-circle overlaps with the previous one to form a decorative edge.

N.B. The alternative name of buttonhole ring can also be used for Buttonhole couronnes.

Ring picot is generously sponsored by Elizabeth Shelton


To work different size ring picots, vary the number of buttonhole stitches across which it is worked and use a different size tapestry needle or similar implement to tension the thread.
For a thinner picot, use a single thread as the core of the picot, rather than three.  N.B. always use an odd number of core threads so that your needle finishes at the correct end of the picot, ready to continue the buttonhole edge.


Work buttonhole stitches along the edge of your fabric.  Count back 8 stitches and insert your needle into the top of the stitch.  Always insert your needle from front to back.


Pull your thread through to create a semi-circle.


Insert your needle into the buttonhole stitch at the start of the semi-circle and pull through, leaving another semi-circle of thread.


Use your needle to tension both semi-circles to the approximate size which you want.


Insert your needle back into the top of the 8th buttonhole stitch.  Try not to split your threads.


Use a large tapestry needle or similar implement to tighten all three threads to the required size.


Insert your needle through the ring and over the working thread to work your first buttonhole.


Pull your thread diagonally down so that the knot is at the very end of the ring.


Work the next buttonhole stitch.


Continue working buttonhole stitches around the ring, the first few stitches may look uneven.


As you work around the ring, the buttonhole stitches will form a ridge around the edge.


When you reach the end of the ring and can’t fit in any more stitches, insert your needle into the fabric to work the next buttonhole edging stitch.


Finished ring picots.

Ring picot method stage 14 photograph

A ring picot further embellished with a loop picot

Ring picot method stage 15 photograph

Ring picots with picots

Ring picot

Common uses


  • Mrs Archibald Christie, Samplers and Stitches (1921) , p.122
  • Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches (1934) , p.162
  • Pat Earnshaw, Bobbin and needle laces - identification and care (1983) , p.102

Examples of Ring picot

Needlelace collar (Metropolitan Museum 08.180.701)

This 19th century collar features 17th century Venetian needlepoint lace elements. The narrow bars are embellished with ring picots which in turn are embellished with four tiny picots (these may be loop or simple picots).