Square eyelet (pulled thread)
- Detached Eyelet
This pulled work stitch is a square stitch consisting of an even number of stitches radiating out from a central hole. It can be worked individually or rows of square eyelet can be combined with other pulled work stitches to form a filling pattern.
Square eyelets date from at least the 17th century as they feature on a whitework swaddling band currently held by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. They also feature on several 19th century Turkish pieces currently held by the V&A, some of them using metal thread.
This stitch has similarities with Algerian eye stitch: the difference is in the number of stitches radiating from the centre and how much tension is used to open the centre of the stitch.
Bring the needle up and make a horizontal stitch four threads to the left (this is the position of the centre hole).
Follow the diagram for the placement of the stitches, and continue round the eyelet.
Pull the thread each time you bring the needle up through the fabric, to maintain a neat hole.
Structure of stitch
Various Authors, The Royal School of Needlework Book of Embroidery (2018) , p.328
Moyra McNeill, Pulled thread (1971) , p.36
Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, 'Quteife embroidery, Syria', TRC Leiden (2017). Available at: https://www.trc-leiden.nl/trc-needles/regional-traditions/middle-east-and-north-africa/pre-modern-middle-east-and-north-africa/quteife-embroidered-dresses-syria (Accessed: 12 October 2021)
'1800s Turkish towel/napkin border', Victoria and Albert Museum. Available at: https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O62786/towelnapkin-border/ (Accessed: 12 October 2021)
'1800s Turkish sash', Victoria and Albert Museum (2021). Available at: https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O62796/sash/ (Accessed: 12 October 2021)