All About The Algerian Eye Stitch

When the heat and humidity of summertime hits Alabama, it’s time to bring out the lightweight and lacy clothes… anything to help ward off the effects of the rising temperatures. 😉 And so, I thought we’d carry that over to this week’s blog post and spend some time chatting about a lacy stitch – the Algerian eye stitch. 

The Algerian eye stitch…

is a very versatile canvas embroidery stitch that you can employ for everything from borders and fancy garments to angel wings and fluttery curtains. Other names for it are the Algerian eyelet stitch, the star eyelet stitch, the square daisy stitch, or the star stitch. And you can, indeed, use it to stitch stars on a needlepoint canvas.

Here’s the diagram for you… 

The Algerian eye stitch is an eyelet stitch that creates a lacy effect on your needlepoint canvases.

Eyelet stitches are unique in that the individual stitches of a unit share a single hole.  

That’s why you only see the odd numbers on the stitch diagram. (The even numbers would be too crowded if we tried to cram them all into that tiny space at the center of the stitch unit.) 

The Algerian eye stitch is a small stitch, so you can use it on just about any size canvas. Earlier, I suggested that you could use this splendiferous stitch for fancy garments, angel wings, and fluttery curtains, but before we look at any of those design components, there are some general guidelines for which threads work best when executing eyelet stitches. 

Guidelines for Working Eyelet Stitches

First, you’ll want to use thinner, or lighter weight, thread than you normally would use because all of those stitches share a single hole and you don’t want to crowd your stitches.

Next, it’s a good idea to use a laying tool to push the canvas threads (at the center of the Algerian eye stitch) apart just a wee bit so that it’s easier to get the needle and thread through when you get to those last few stitches of the unit.

And finally, use a needle that’s one size larger than you usually use for whichever size canvas you’re stitching. (I recommend a #18 or #20 for 13/14 mesh canvas and a #20 or #22 for 18 mesh canvas.)

Alrighty, let’s look at fancy garments, first… 

The Algerian eye stitch is especially lovely for ball gowns, wedding dresses and lacy pinafores.

There are oodles of possibilities for ball gowns, including Petite Very Velvet, Vineyard Classic Silk, Entice, and Silk Lamé Braid. Simply match the color of thread to your painted design and have fun creating your own version of a designer gown. If you’re stitching a wedding gown and the dress is traditional in style, you can use the same kinds of threads you might use for ball gowns, just select white or ivory. Finally, when choosing threads to stitch a lacy pinafore, I recommend using Mandarin Floss or DMC 6-strand cotton embroidery floss since most lace is made of cotton. 

Next on the list is angel wings. 

When I think of angel wings, the first words that come to mind are soft, delicate, and ethereal – and that means the threads I choose ought to have those same qualities. Some of my favorite threads for stitching angel wings are Elegance, Perle cotton( #5 and #8), Kreinik braid (#4 and #8), Entice, Splendor, Silk Lamé Braid, Petite Silk Lamé Braid, Fuzzy Stuff, Neon Rays +, and Petite Frosty Rays. 

Finally, you have some interesting thread options when using the Algerian eye stitch to create fluttery curtains on your needlepoint canvases…

and since they can be made from just about any kind of material, your imagination is your only limitation. Here are a few suggestions to help you get started, though: Rainbow Linen, DMC 6-strand cotton embroidery floss, Mandarin Floss, DMC Perle cotton (#5 and #8), Londonderry Linen, and Rainbow Tweed. 

Okey dokey… that brings us to the end of our peek at the Algerian eye stitch.

Have you used this cutie-pie stitch on your projects before?

If you have, please tell me how in the comments below. I love hearing from you! (And if you haven’t? Well, my friend, I challenge you to find a place on a project to incorporate it! 😉 )

Thank you, ever so much, for taking the time to stop by for a visit. Have a terrific rest of your day and, until next time, happy stitching!

Stitch with a smile!


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Serendipity Needleworks

Hi, I’m Ellen. A needlepoint teacher and author dedicated to helping motivated but overwhelmed stitchers at every stage find exactly what they need to stitch with confidence. Whether you’re just dipping your toe into the needlepoint world or you’re ready to take your skills to the next level, I’ve fine-tuned a learning experience just for you.

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