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Wave stitch filling (pulled thread) icon
Wave stitch filling (pulled thread)

Wave stitch filling (pulled thread) main image

This pulled work stitch uses diagonal stitches in a V format to give a wave effect.

N.B. Some modern authors call this wave stitch, but we have retained the original name of wave stitch filling to avoid confusion with wave stitch.

This stitch is first documented by Thérèse de Dillmont in her 1886 Encyclopedia of needlework.

Diagonal leaf stitch is generously sponsored by Mrs P. Williams in memory of Mrs J. H. Miskin


In the example below, the outline of the design (usually worked with double running stitch before starting pulled thread work) is not shown so that you can see the wave stitch filling more clearly.


Work from left to right to start with. Bring the needle up two threads inside your outline. Count left two and up four and take the needle down.


Count right four, bring the needle up and pull tight.


Take the needle back through the first hole (left two and down four).


Count right four, bring the needle up and pull. Repeat to complete the first row.


Make a holding stitch on the outline or in the border where this holding stitch will be covered later on. Then, count left two and down four from the last bottom hole of the previous row and bring the needle up.
Take the needle down through the last bottom hole of the previous row.


The second row is worked from right to left in the same manner. Continue until the deign area is filled. Make sure to pull the thread tight each time.

Wave stitch filling (pulled thread)

Structure of stitch

Common uses

Wave stitch is a pulled whitework stitch that is very useful for filling small areas.

Embroidery Techniques

Related Stitches


  • Mrs Archibald Christie, Samplers and Stitches (1921) , p.102
  • Thérèse De Dillmont, Encyclopedia of Needlework (1886) , p.507