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Woven bars

  • Darned bars
  • Double Point de Venise
  • Cordovan lace
  • Henrique lace
  • Needleweaving
Woven bars main image

Woven bars are narrow thread structures which are worked across a void.  They can be woven over threads from the ground fabric (where most of the fabric has been cut away), or over threads which have been stitched across the space. Where there are more than two threads, they are divided into two groups and woven in a figure of eight motion.

They are commonly used within cutwork and needlepoint lace (where they are often called brides) to join motifs or areas of fabric.

Woven bars are worked in a similar way to point de reprise although point de reprise normally fills an area. There is a another similar version, called Russian stitch, where the thread is taken over the bar and then comes up behind the weave, not in front of it - both of these stitches will feature in a future RSN Stitch Bank release.

When the bars are worked in a grid design, they are sometimes known as Henrique lace (over two threads) or Cordovan lace/double point de Venise (over three threads) (see the images at the end of the entry).


Woven bars certainly date from the 16th century as they are an integral part of Reticella whitework.  Selected linen threads are withdrawn to leave a grid pattern which is then woven into these decorative bars.  Reticella is used to embellish various garments, including cuffs and the edges of collars during the Elizabethan era.  It also often features on English needlepoint lace samplers from the mid 17th century.

Reticella’s influence can be seen in the many subsequent needlepoint lace techniques which employ woven bars, including Hardanger and Ruskin work.

Woven bars is generously sponsored by Manuela-Lidia Grindei

Stitch supporters: Miriam Kahn.


Woven bars can be woven over two, four or six threads. The example below shows woven bars worked over the foundation grid of four fabric threads surrounded by satin stitch edges (also known as kloster blocks) in Hardanger embroidery. When the foundation threads are in a grid, woven bars are often worked as a series of steps.


After creating a foundation for the woven bars, secure the thread behind the satin stitch edges and bring the needle up in the middle of the bar. Take your thread over the edge of the foundation threads and bring it back up in the middle.


Take your thread over the opposite edge and back up again in the middle as if creating a figure of eight.


Continue weaving in the same manner.


Once the foundation thread is covered, come up in the middle of the next set of unworked threads.


Weave these threads in a figure of eight motion as before.


Completed woven bars.

Woven bars

Structure of stitch

Common uses


Examples of Woven bars

Handbook of Point Lace by Victor Touche

The bars within Henrique lace are over two threads; the bars within Cordovan lace are over three threads. The diagrams were published in London in 1870.