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Trellis couching icon
Trellis couching

  • Jacobean couching
  • Trellis stitch
  • triangle filling

This stitch consists of a square trellis, overlaid with long diagonal threads which are couched where they cross the trellis.  It has similarities with honeycomb filling stitch: both are trellis stitches with threads laid at three angles, the major difference is the way in which they are secured to the fabric.

When this stitch is rotated 45 degrees, some authors call this stitch triangle filling.  The angle of the threads also sometimes changes so that the initial square trellis is stretched into a diagonal form.

Trellis couching is generously sponsored by Gill White



Start by filling your shape with a grid framework of basic trellis, either square like this image or on the diagonal.


Continue by introducing another layer of laid stitches back and forth ensuring they lie directly over each intersection at 45 degrees to the previous layers.


Complete this layer by starting back at the centre of the shape and working to the other side.


Anchor the basic framework and the diagonal stitches to the fabric with a small diagonal couching stitch over each intersection.


Continue anchoring every intersection to complete the shape.

Common uses

Embroidery Techniques

Identifying Trellis couching

This trellis can be identified by the use of laid threads at three different angles. Unlike honeycomb filling stitch the intersections are anchored with a couching stitch.


  • Mary Thomas, Jan Eaton, Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches (Revised Edition) (1989) , p.92