How to work Bouclé Stitch

Bouclé Stitch Sample1Bouclé Stitch is a stitch that can be worked on any grid. It is a normally used as a canvas work stitch (also known as needlepoint) but it also can be worked on any fabric that is an even weave. So you can use it on foundation fabrics such as Aida and linen apart from working it traditionally on mono or interlock canvas.

Bouclé stitch is a textured stitch worked within a square.I discovered it in an old book on Canvas stitches by Mary Rhodes titled Dictionary of Canvas Work Stitches.

The trick to this stitch is to match the yarn carefully to the size of the stitch you want to work. Too thick and the texture is so tight you cant see too much effect and too thin and Bouclé Stitch sits flat on the fabric not doing much at all. If you have an interesting thick thread work larger stitches to show off the thread to its best advantage. Also there is no reason why the loops could be one thread and the bars another.

A final tip is on the second pass work the loops quite loose as then the texture of the stitch fills out producing an interesting surface that looks a little like Bouclé.

How to work Bouclé stitch

Bouclé stitch stitch can be worked in a square over any number of threads.

Bouclé Stitch Step 1Work a line of even diagonal stitches with the top each stitch angled toward the right. Have each stitch firm against the fabric, but not too tight as when you create the loops on the second pass these stitches need to be able to pull to one side a little.

Bouclé Stitch Step 2Bring your thread from the back at the top left hand corner of the stitch. To make the first loop take your needle over the top of the bar and pass it under the bar. As you pass under the bar make sure your needle points towards the top left hand corner as illustrated.

Bouclé Stitch Step 3To complete the loop insert the needle back into the fabric at the top left hand corner of the stitch. In the same action bring your needle out at the top right corner of the stitch, as illustrated.

Bouclé Stitch Step 4Work along the line adding a loop to each diagonal stitch.

Bouclé Stitch Step 5For the second part of the stitch. Take your thread back to the start of the row and work a second row of diagonal stitches inserting and exiting your needle at the same hole of the fabric as the first row of diagonal stitches.

Bouclé Stitch Step 6Don’t tension these too tight as the next row of loops will pull them slightly.

Bouclé Stitch Step 7Work a row of loops on each of the diagonal threads using the same method as you did the top line.

Bouclé Stitch Step 8This sample is worked in cotton perle #5 so you can see the structure of the stitch. Worked on a finer fabric Bouclé stitch produces a braid like line or a textured fill.

Bouclé Stitch Sample 2I hope you enjoy exploring Bouclé Stitch!

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For the love of Stitching Band 564

detail of canvas stitches  on a hand embroidered needlework sampler

This band is on section 39 of the Love of Stitch Band Sampler. For the full story of this piece visit the Sampler FAQ page.

detail of canvas stitches on a hand embroidered needlework sampler

On this area of my sampler I was experimenting with canvas work stitches based on straight stitch and playing with creating patterns using hand dyed thread. The thread was dyed by me and is silk and the orange toned thread is wool.

Size:

The For Love of Stitching Band Sampler is 15 cm (6 inches) wide. It consists of different strips of fabric which are are stitched together to form one long strip. It currently measures 24.8 yards or 22.75 metres long and I have more bands to add.

Sampler FAQ
For the full back story on this piece visit the Sampler FAQ page.

All posts in the series are in the category  the Love of Stitching Band Sampler.