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Twisted buttonhole stitch icon
Twisted buttonhole stitch

Twisted buttonhole stitch main image

This needlelace stitch is detached buttonhole stitch with an additional twist in the side of the loop.

Twisted buttonhole stitch is worked in one direction, rather than opposite directions in alternate rows, so the returning thread is whipped around every buttonhole loop of the previous row.  It has similarities with hollie stitch as both are twisted versions of detached buttonhole stitch, but this version is whipped rather than corded.

This stitch is awaiting a sponsor.


In the example below, back stitch is worked for the foundation outline.  The smaller the back stitch, the denser the twisted button hole stitch filling.  You could use a cordonnet instead of the back stitch.


Bring the needle up at the top right of the area to fill. Make a buttonhole stitch over the foundation.


Then pass the needle under the base of the buttonhole stitch from bottom to top.


Pull the thread gently to make a double twist.


Move on to the next back stitch and work another twisted buttonhole stitch.


Continue working from right to left. Make sure the thread is twisted twice.


At the end of the row, take the needle down at the foundation outline on the left and come up again just below. Start whipping by passing the needle under the loop between the buttonhole stitches.


Keep wrapping each buttonhole loop.


At the end of the row, take the needle down on the foundation outline and come up at the bottom of the second back stitch. Make another twisted buttonhole stitch in the gap between the first two stitches on the previous row.


Continue working in the same manner.


Each time you finish the row on the left side, come back up and whip back to the right-hand edge. Continue rows in this way.


When you reach the end of the shape whip the buttonhole loops and the foundation back stitch together in order to spread the tension evenly.


At the end, take the needle down through the fabric and secure the thread on the reverse side.

Twisted buttonhole stitch

Common uses

Embroidery Techniques


  • Pat Earnshaw, Needlelace (1991) , p.24