Lattice work basics

Lattice work basics

Starting today, let's take a look at the stitching technique called “Lattice”! I have 3 lessons planned, with the first one being just the basics.

Now, I don't know if you've already noticed, but the terminology area in hand embroidery can be a bit confusing at times. One book calls a stitch “A”, the other one calls it “B”, on the internet you can find articles attributing other names to it...

This situation is can be applied to Lattice technique too. Some sources call it just like that: “lattice stitch” or “Lattice work”. That's the name I learned this technique as, so I'm going to be using the same term. However, you can find also stumble upon terms“Trellis work”, “Trellis”, “Laid work”, etc.

Essentially, this technique is prevalent in Crewel embroidery (also known as Jacobean embroidery) so if you want to learn more about Lattice, I suppose it is better to dig deeper in that department. I personally take it easy with terminology, for now, and pay more attention to miscellaneous ways of working this stitch.

And there are actually LOTS of ways!

Today I will only show you the basics. The skeleton of this technique. But next time, you and me, we will explore the vast possibilities of playing with this stitch, and it's going to be a lot of fun! :)

Here are some examples of Lattice work in my older projects:

Lattice work basics

From left to right, these are details from Crewel heart, Fall wedding, Snowflake Mandala. The first one looks a little more complicated and fun, doesn't it? The other two are the perfect examples of basic Lattice work.

Lattice embroidery lesson

Everything is simple!

First, you need to make a greed out of your thread.

Lattice work basics

Make a row of stitches, starting with vertical ones, for example.

Lattice work basics

And then lay horizontal stitches over them.

Lattice work basics

Until you have a grid.

Now, about this grid... I usually lay it without any thorough measuring, to be honest. Of course, if you are using nice linen, you should be able to count holes in the fabric's weaving between the stitches. It will make the grid even. I normally use cotton, though, and I'm not fond of sitting and measuring every stitch with a ruler so I do it with my eyes.

Naturally, it is not perfect, haha. You can see some of the squares that the grid creates, aren't even, But I forgive it to myself :)

If you want your grid to be perfect, though, I suggest using a ruler or counting holes!

Lattice work basics

After our grid is ready, we start couching the threads in the place of their intersection.

For the basic Lattice, it is enough to do just one diagonal couching stitch to keep the thread in place. Make sure all the diagonal stitches are worked in the same direction, though. The inconsistency in this can influence the look of the lattice quite badly. Be careful!

Even with the basics of this technique you can achieve captivating results.

Lattice work basics

For example, you can switch the color of couching thread to create a special effect :)

Lattice over satin stitch

Lattice work is an open filling by itself. It leaves the background easily visible for the eye of the audience. However, you might want to cover fabric with a particular color and then work the lattice grid over it. In this case, satin stitch or long and short stitch are your helpers.

I'm using satin stitch for this example just to show the principle. But I hope you realize that lattice worked over long and short stitching with color blending, would have a bomb look! :)

Lattice work basics

So, first, we work the satin stitch padding for the shape, and then lay the thread grid right on top (sorry for the Minions color scheme, I've only just noticed, haha).

Lattice work basics

Then, couch the threads in the intersections. I used cross stitches here – two diagonal stitches lying on top of each other. By the way, here the order of working cross stitches matters as well. I mean, if you make the first one in a particular manner (for example, first a diagonal stitch from the right to the left, then from the left to the right), then you should continue in the same way till the end. It is actually noticeable when the stitches are different and it kind of rubs the eye when you look at the work.

And that's all! It's really easy. isn't it? And it looks very pretty, even if you work it all in the same color!

So we finished with the basics, but the most fun is ahead! Next time, let's try different ways of couching threads, as well as different types of grids. You'd be surprised to know how many faces this technique has. That's my favorite part, I can't wait!


  1. Thanks, Amina, very clear lesson on lattice!

  2. Thank you so much, this is a gorgeous stitch, can't wait to embroid it too :)

    1. Yeah, totally worth trying! I'm happy you liked :)


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