Tete de Boéuf stitch is based on fly stitch. It is also known as Bulls head stitch, Head of the bull and Ox Head Stitch because the two protruding stitches can look like horns.
Tete de Boéuf stitch is often confused with wheatear stitch but they are different. Tete de Boéuf is a fly stitch that is tied off with a detached chain stitch. Wheatear on the other hand, has a loop that looks like a chain stitch but it is actually made in the other direction by passing the needle under two straight stitches (see step 3 in my tutorial for Wheatear stitch.) The other stitch Tete de Boéuf gets muddled with is Slipped Detached chain or Tulip stitch. As you can see in my tutorial for Slipped Detached chain this is another stitch again that although similar the V like stitch is created at the tie off point of the chain stitch making it a very different stitch.
Tete de Boéuf stitch is easy and quick to work. You can scatter stitches over an area to create patterns or arrange them in circles with the horns pointing outwards,inwards or alternating the two. This stitch is effective worked in perle threads, wool, ribbon and fine metallic cords and adding a bead adds zest. You can work Tete de Boeuf stitch on either evenweave or plain weave fabrics
How to work Tete de Boéuf stitch
Bring the thread up through the fabric at the top left of where you want to create the stitch. Hold the thread down with the left thumb and insert the needle to the right and level of where the thread emerged.
Make a stitch on a downward angle so that the needle emerges between the two points as illustrated.
With the thread wrapped under the needle, pull it through the fabric.
Secure the ‘V’ in position with a chain stitch. To do this insert the needle as illustrated, so that the point emerges below.
Wrap your thread under the needle.
With the thread wrapped under the needle point pull the needle through the fabric to make the stitch. Take your thread to the back of the fabric and secure the loop with a small straight stitch.
You have made a Tete de Boéuf stitch! Have fun with more of them.
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