Detached Buttonhole variations

double looped detached buttonhole

Let's learn a bit of needle lacing :)

The art of needle lacing is one of the most fascinating for me. These intricate patterns created (usually) with fine thread look so fragile but elegant at the same time. The respect I harbor for the masters of this craft is humongous! You have to have really great patience and perseverance to design and produce the masterpieces that they do.

As for me, unfortunately, I haven't plunged deeply into this art yet. I've practiced only the two versions and still struggling big time with one of it (you will see in the pictures below, haha).

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However, I felt the need to share these quick tutorials even if they are not perfect so that those of you who discover a special interest in this craft, could practice it and, I'm sure, get much better than me!

Knotted detached buttonhole

This is the one that I struggle with!

It isn't that complicated in the steps you have to take to work it. The most complicated for me, personally, is to keep the tension of thread and the loops consistent: you can adjust the knot to go a bit higher or lower according to your preference, which affects the sizes of the loops making them smaller or bigger, and, accordingly, changes the size and the shape of the arc between the loops.

Well, let me show you my attempts first :)

Knotted detached buttonhole

The first step is identical to the basic detached buttonhole: you slide the needle under the outline of your shape in the vertically downward direction, and tuck the working end of the thread under the tip of the needle.

Knotted detached buttonhole

As you pull the thread, the loop will start forming. At that moment, slide the needle behind the loop and over the working end of the thread.

Knotted detached buttonhole

Start gently pulling the thread and see how the knot is forming. At this point, you can usually adjust where the knot will be paced – a bit higher or lower. It will decide on the size of the loop and how deep or shallow the arc between the loops will be.

Knotted detached buttonhole

Your knot should look like this.

Knotted detached buttonhole

When it comes to the second row, you can repeat the steps the same way just mirror the direction from which you slide the needle behind the needle.

Knotted detached buttonhole

Or, you can start the second row from the same direction as the first one (from left to right in my case).

It will affect the appearance of the lace (the direction in which the loops are “looking” will be the same), but it kind of eats thread and also I don't like thread stretches that can't be anchored or grounded anywhere, so that's why I'm reluctant to that, even though appearance-wise it will probably look neater... well...

Anyway, that's my version of knotted detached buttonhole. Let me emphasize the fact that it is “my version” because it looks awkward due to my struggles, however if you put more practice into it, it will definitely look much much prettier!

I actually really like the potential of this lace, so hopefully, I will be able to conquer it at some point!

Double looped detached buttonhole

This one is much easier and looks really pretty!

Double looped detached buttonhole

Basically, all you need to do is work the basic detached buttonhole BUT with a special way of placing the loops. You place 2 loops beside each other (if you're using back stitch or chain stitch for the outline, then place 2 loops under one stitch. Then skip some space, and then place the 2 loops close to one another again.

Double looped detached buttonhole

Look how pretty! And it is quick enough for you to not start feeling frustrated by a tedious process. (I do feel that way with the previous variation).

Now, I brought to you 2 variations, but the world of needle lace is much much richer and there is an abundance of techniques many of which use detached buttonhole stitch.

There is a vintage embroidery encyclopedia by Thérèse De Dillmont with free access to read it online. You can find it in this list here under the number 18. If you don't like reading it from the Archive, you can go to this site where the book is typed in with all the pictures. This chapter on the art of needle lace is what I would like to bring your attention to. The pictures for each technique are quite eloquent, so feel free to play with your needle and thread, and who knows, maybe you will discover a new talent or passion! :)

1 comment

  1. Thanks so much Amina. I am trying to do this for a bag and your blog is very helpful.


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