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Velvet stitch icon
Velvet stitch

  • Astrakhan stitch
  • Berlin Plush stitch
  • Plush stitch
  • Raised stitch
  • Rug stitch
  • Tassel stitch
Velvet stitch main image

This canvaswork stitch consists of a half cross stitch followed by a loop on the surface of the canvas which is anchored by the other half of the cross stitch.  The loops can either be cut to form a piled surface or left as loops.

The naming of the various pile and loop stitches has become confused over time - unsurprisingly as they are indistinguishable from the front of the fabric.  We have where possible used the 19th century names as this is when most of them were originally documented, but retained all alternative names which have been used by subsequent authors.  This does mean that some of the names are used across multiple stitches.

Velvet stitch is generously sponsored to honour and celebrate Margaret von Kugelgen


Some people use a pencil/knitting needle as a gauge to keep the loops a consistent length, for this entry we used a running stitch marker below.


Make a diagonal stitch over one intersection, from bottom left to top right.


Repeat the stitch in the same holes leaving a loop on the surface.


Bring the needle up in the hole directly below and pull the loop to the desired size.


Secure the loop by making a stitch over one intersection, from bottom right to top left. Bring your needle back up under one intersection down and right ready to start the next stitch.


Repeat these steps to the right and work a horizontal row, ensuring the loops are approximately the same length.


Work further rows directly above.

Velvet stitch

Structure of stitch

Embroidery Techniques

Variant Stitches


  • S. F. A. Caulfeild, Blanche C. Saward, The Dictionary of Needlework (1882) , p.31