Stitches for Needle Lace
Needle Lace Stitches

   © 2010 Lorelei Halley
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 single Brussels
 corded Brussels
 whipped Brussels
 double buttonhole
 treble buttonhole
 pea stitch variants 1 & 2
 pea stitch variant 3
 pea stitch variant 4
 twisted buttonhole
 whipped twisted buttonhole
 corded twisted button hole 
 point d'Espagne
 English stitch
 knotted buttonhole
 Venetian point (single point de Venise
 petit point de Venise (dbl pt de Venise)
 Alencon bars
 buttonholed bars
 Venetian picots

  Here are diagrams and photos of some very basic needle lace stitches.  Where you see a hand, click to make the image larger. The 4th column has the abbreviations I've used.  See   for many more stitches.

single Brussels stitch   bh  single Brussels stitch  bh
detached buttonhole stitch
 This is the most basic buttonhole stitch (also called single Brussels or detached buttonhole stitch), but it is actually difficult to do neatly, as it tends to curl up.  The corded single Brussels, below, is much easier, and is probably the easiest form.

corded single Brussels stitch  buttonhole stitch with straight return
detached buttonhole with straight return
corded buttonhole stitch

 Corded single Brussels, dbh sr also called

buttonhole stitch with straight return,

detached buttonhole with straight return (dbh sr),or

 corded buttonhole stitch.  This is the most frequently used stitch for the dense motifs and design areas of needle lace.  The spacing can be very close together or moderately close together:  very close in gros point, moderately close in point de gaze.

corded bh

dbh sr

bh sr
 Corded Brussels for left handed lacemakers
left handed corded Brussels stitch
  Corded Brussels
Work the stitch row from right to left, work the straight return from left to right.
whipped buttonhole stitch wh bh    The 3rd is the most common and basic form.  Also called
 whipped buttonhole,
whipped single Brussels
, or
whipped detached buttonhole

wh bh
wh dbh
wh bh

wh dbh

The group below are spacing variants of Brussels.
  Some spaced Brussels stitches.  

double buttonhole stitch
double buttonhole stitch
double Brussels stitch

Double Brussels,   
 double buttonhole
dbl bh 
treble buttonhole stitch treble Brussels stitch

Treble Brussels, treble buttonhole
rbl bh
pea stitch variants 1 & 2  pea stitch variant 1

pea stitch variant 2
 Pea stitch, variants 1 & 2
pea st 1

pea st 2

Pea stitch variant 3 - most striking variant


pea stitch variant 3
pea stitch variant 3
pea stitch variant 3
This is the most striking looking variant of pea stitch. Variant 3.
pea st 3

pea stitch variant 4

pea stitch variant 4
pea stitch variant 4

 Pea stitch variant 4. Both variants 3 and 4 alternate rows of 1 bh st + 3 bh st, alternated with a row of groups of 2 bh st. But the rows mesh together differently, and the appearance is quite different.
pea st 4
4hole_bud   4_hole_bud 4-hole-bud  4 hole bud worked in corded single Brussels   
The group below are variants of twisted buttonhole stitch.
  Variants involve the number of twists 1-2 or 3, whipped or corded, worked needle towards you or needle pointed away from you.  
 One way of achieving one twist -- point d'Espagne

twisted buttonhole stitch   point d'Espagne stitch  tw bh
Another way of achieving one twist
point d'Espagne twisted buttonhole stitch 
 twisted buttonhole stitch twisted buttonhole stitch
twisted buttonhole stitch

Twisted buttonhole, twisted 1x.  This is another stitch that is very difficult to do neatly.  The whipped version, below is easier. There are different ways of manipulating the thread to achieve the one twist.  At left two of these are diagrammed.  Also called point d'Espagne

tw bh

point d'Espagne

There are other ways of working this which produce alternate rows with 2 or 3 twists on each stitch.
tw bh

whipped twisted buttonhole stitch 

whipped twisted Brussels stitch wh tw bh

whipped twisted buttonhole stitch
whipped twisted buttonhole stitch (tw 1x)
whipped twisted buttonhole stitch - 1 tw

Whipped twisted buttonhole.  This version is much easier than the plain twisted buttonhole.

wh tw bh or whipped point d'Espagne
wh tw bh
corded twisted buttonhole stitch corded tw bh 
Corded twisted buttonhole.  Also called
twisted buttonhole with a straight return
.  This version is also easier than plain twisted buttonhole.

corded tw bh    or   tw bh sr
corded point d'Espagne
corded tw bh

tw bh sr
   Two twists -- English stitch

English stitch - buttonhole stitch twisted 2x  English stitch - 3 twist buttonhole stitch
  Twisted buttonhole, twisted 2 times, also called English stitch.  This version, where each row is stitches, is another difficult one to do well.  
  Two twists  whipped -- whipped English stitch

whipped English stitch - row 1 
 whipped English stitch - row 2 
 whipped English stitch - row 3
whipped twisted buttonhole stitch (tw 2x) Whipped twisted buttonhole, twisted 2 times, whipped, tw2 bh wh

whipped English stitch

The whipped version is much easier to make neatly.
 Twisted buttonhole tw 2x, corded -- corded English stitch

corded twisted buttonhole stitch - tw 2x 
  Corded English stitch

corded twisted Brussels, twisted 2x

The corded version is also easier.
twisted-buttonhole-in-groups  whipped-twisted-buttonhole These represent some of the groupings of whipped twisted buttonhole stitches that occur in antique laces.  
  Corded twisted buttonhole in groups.  
The group below are knotted forms, knotted buttonhole stitches.   The numbers of stitches on top of the first stitch or underneath and behind the stitch can be varied in many ways.   *
 knotted-buttonhole     knotted buttonhole, Venetian point variation. Work a buttonhole stitch on top of the stitch just made.   Also called Antwerp stitch.  
 treble-variant-knotted-buttonhole    Variants of the above stitch exist with 3 to 5 stitches on top of the first stitch.    
       petit-point-de-Venise Petit point de Venise,
Venetian point stitch
knotted single buttonhole

 Make a buttonhole stitch on the horizontal thread before the last stitch. 

It will end up underneath the plain buttonhole stitch.
 point-de-Venise  from DMC
 left to right

 point de Venise  right to left
Venetian-point Point de Venise,
knotted double buttonhole
Make 2 buttonhole stitches. Swing the thread back to the left and make a buttonhole stitch on the horizontal thread before the last 2 stitches. 

Various kinds of bars
twisted bar on one foundation thread plain twisted bar Plain twisted bar or Alencon bar. *
Twist the working thread around the foundation thread at least 2 times, depending on length of bar. Overcast the working thread around the lower outline thread to move to the next bar position.
twisted bar on 3 foundation threads twisted bar on 3 foundation threads
Alençon bar
Alençon bars
Sometimes called double twisted bar (although it has 3 foundation threads) or Alençon bar.   Twist the working thread at least 3 times around the foundation threads, depending on length of the bar.  Or you can cover the bar completely with overcasting.
Venetian bars yellow Venetian bars Venetian bars, buttonholed bars.  Can be worked over 1 thread, but they are mostly worked over 3 laid threads.     *


Venetian picots can be any length, but at least 2 stitches.      *


September 20, 2010                            Last edited:   01/19/20