Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Stitch of the Week: Milanese

The Milanese is a lovely simple stitch that can really enhance your needlepoint. The Milanese stitch is comprised of triangle shapes arranged in diagonal rows. Depending on the effect you want, you can stitch each row in the same color, or you can do multiple colors. It would also be striking to use an over-dyed thread (like the image above), which would give the canvas another interesting dimension!

This stitch is a great stitch for filling larger shapes and backgrounds because it can be slightly bulky depending on the thread used. You can see in the sample above that it is stitched using Perle cotton. Because this is a thicker fiber, it would be best for a background stitch. This way it won't distract your eye from the focal point in your piece (unless you want this to be the focal point in the piece of course!).

You can use this stitch to create realistic mountains using Pebbly Perle, Perle cotton, or an overdyed thread. It is also great for Southwestern motifs, especially with an overdyed thread that combines the colors in your piece.*

We hope you enjoy using this lovely stitch in your needlepoint! Let us know how it works for you!

* p.40, Stitches For Effect, Suzanne Howren & Beth Robertson, 1996.


  1. Hi, guys! I've been wanting to contact you for a long time, because I greatly enjoy your blog and find the stitches you describe really useful and easy to follow.

    I designed a stitch sampler picture when I was a very new needlepointer. I grew up in the Western Cape in South Africa, with lots of mountains and farm land. My picture is basically horizontal stripes in greens, with pale mauve (meadow flowers), purple (standing water) and cream (sand). Different stitch for every colour. Then I needed a stitch for distant, blue fold mountains, and tried Milanese. It worked wonderfully well, and closely resembles your second example picture!

    Keep up the good work.

    All the best


  2. Hi Deborah! Glad to hear that you enjoyed this stitch and it works well in your piece! It definitely sounds like a beautiful project! Post a picture if you would like some time! We'd be happy to see it!