Stitches of Gros Point Needle Lace

  © Lorelei Halley 2014

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I wanted to know just which stitches are typical of Venetian Gros Point needle lace. I went to my books to try and compile a list. I have Lovesey & Barley on VENETIAN GROS POINT, Catherine Barley's NEEDLELACE, which has a chapter on making gros point, and Earnshaw's NEEDLELACE. Earnshaw deals with French and Belgian laces, but not Italian. Another resource is the Symposium on Gros Point by the Musee des Manufactures de Dentelles, at Retournac in 2011.  There are pdf files with pictures and explanations of the elements. One problem with gros point is that it is greatly admired among lace makers and lace collectors. As a result many copies, or recreations, were made during the Revival Era, c. 1890-1920, when many attempts were made to infuse life into a dying craft. Rarely were the copies/reproductions exact, but some were. This makes it very hard to date a piece with any certainty. One must resort to style alone as the distinguishing factor (along with the assumption that something really old will have a lot of damage.) Motifs that are simple may hint at a recent age.


gros point sampler
Gros point needle lace sampler
gros-point-sampler 1. gros point diamonds worked in corded detached buttonhole stitch.
2. 4 hole bud worked in corded detached buttonhole stitches.
3. whipped twisted Brussels in 3s.
4. whipped twisted Brussels 3-6-3
gros-point-sampler 5. petit point de Venise
6. point de Venise, Ventian point stitch


Lovesey and Barley list
Group A - I think I know what she means    
single-Brussels   single Brussels
corded-detached-buttonhole   corded Brussels
double-buttonhole   double  buttonhole as filling
treble-buttonhole   treble buttonhole as filling
4_hole_bud 4-hole-bud 4 hole bud, worked in corded Brussels
    gros point diamonds, Gaze Quadrille, made in plain buttonhole, not corded
Venetian point variation  treble stitch   treble stitch -- 1 buttonhole stitch with 3 more worked on top of it (over it), knotted treble stitch
pea-stitch   pea stitch variant 3. Barley's book also shows this one.
  petit-point-de-Venise petit-point-de-Venise petit point de Venise = 1 buttonhole stitch with 1 more worked under it.  The 2nd stitch ends up underneath the 1st one.
Venetian_point_stitch Venetian-point Point de Venise, Venetian point = 2 buttonhole stitches with 1 more worked under the pair of stitches.
    loop picot

Venetian picot
    bullion bars
    Leaves are nearly always in corded or close bh stitches.
    Point de Venise a Reseau, spaced evenly, used in later period laces, still use in Burano. (I am guessing at what she means by this.)
    point de Venise and its variations, used for fillings
Group B. I don't know what this is.    
    Quadrille festoon. Is this French for 4 hole bud in buttonhole stitch?
Group C. She has diagrams. All are complex stitches.    
    Belle point de Venise cinq poing = 1 buttonhole with 5 more worked on the loop before it.
    cinq point ground
    point de Sorrento
    belle point de Venise
    Burano fillings
    old Burano ground
    belle and reseau



Catherine Barley's list is shorter.
corded-Brussels Lenore English's sampler corded Brussels with veins and diamonds
  double Brussels
  pea stitch
    gros point diamonds worked inBrussels stitch
4hole-bud-single-Brussels   small diamonds - 4 hole bud, worked in Brussels stitch
    9 hole diamond worked in Brussels stitch
    veins in corded Brussels worked as a row of point d'Espagne or twisted buttonhole



Photos of gros point, both very old 17th and 18th c, revival era c1900, and modern:  one    two    three   

I have searched through NEEDLELACETALK'S photographs of gros point from members' collections to see what stitches occur in those. What I found is that double and treble plain buttonhole do not occur in very old gros point. Instead the fillings were worked in twisted buttonhole stitches, in groups of 2 or 3.  I am not an expert on Venetian gros point. I am trying to understand its distinguishing features, and whether those changed over time.



Stitches I found on examining very old gros point needle laces, 17th-18th century.

  Point d'Espagne
    English stitch
Two kind of twisted buttonhole. I can't tell which was used.
     twisted buttonhole in groups of 2 or 3.
corded-twisted-buttonhole-in3s corded twisted buttonhole in groups of 3 stitches
  gros point diamonds worked in twisted buttonhole stitches, not corded or whipped
  9 hole bud in twisted buttonhole stitches, or corded tw BH.


Stitches I found on examining Revival Era gros point needle laces, circa 1900. (At least I think these are Revival Era.)
Neff 1     Neff 2    oth359    Ruhland   
 Point d'Espagne - one extra twist    
 another way of achieving the same thing

   English stitch - 2 extra twists
  There are 2 versions of twisted buttonhole. I'm not sure which one was used in gros point.
    twisted buttonhole stitches in pairs
         corded twisted buttonhole, spaced out a little
    corded twisted buttonhole, in groups of 2 or 3

twisted buttonhole in groups
Look here.   Motifs with a ring row of tw bh worked into outline threads around inside of a motif, then corded bh worked inside the motif, attached to the tw bh ring row.


 Last edited:   01/19/20