Hollie Stitch

Drawing of a hollie stitch. Drawing of a hollie stitch.

Hollie stitch is a form of lace stitch used to create hollie or holy point lace, which was popular in England in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The stitch, according to Mary Thomas and following her description, is partially detached from the ground material and takes the form of a series of connected, small knots.

First of all a motif, or sometimes a full design, is drawn onto the ground material and then a line of small chain stitches is used to define the outline of the motif. Once the outline has been completed the thread is brought up in the centre of the chain stitch at the top right hand corner of the motif (A). This thread is then taken over the top of the ground material to the opposite corner at B. The needle is inserted in the ground material and brought out again in the middle of the chain stitch at C.

In order to create the first of a series of small knots, the left thumb is now placed over the working thread, which is wound round the thumb from right to left. The needle is then inserted under the loop of the first chain (near B) in the top row, passed under the transverse thread laid across from A-B and also under the loop on the thumb. It is then pulled through and the first, small knot is completed.

A series of knots are worked until the right hand side of the motif (D) is reached. The thread is then brought through in the chain stitch just below (E) and then brought back across the motif to just below C on the left hand side. The next row of knots is then ready to be worked.

Source: THOMAS, Mary (1934). Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches, London: Hodder and Stoughton, p. 121-122.

Digital source (retrieved 16th May 2016).

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 9th July 2016).


Last modified on Sunday, 04 June 2017 18:07