Decorative Stitch Deep Dive: All About The Woven Plait Stitch

The woven plait stitch is a terrific decorative stitch that you can use to create lots of texture on your needlepoint canvases.

A-tisket, a-tasket, a green and yellow basket… who’s ready for spring? I sure am! Here in Alabama, the azaleas are blooming and the trees are beginning to sprout new leaves. Inspired by the season, I have the perfect stitch to help us celebrate spring: the woven plait stitch!        

Before we dive into the different uses, though, let’s talk about some stitch essentials.

First, the woven plait stitch (aka the woven stitch) is a member of the straight stitch family. And second, it has a satin pathway.

So, what does that mean in every day stitcher’s lingo?

Great question!

Straight stitches are those that lay either in a horizontal or vertical direction on your canvas. They can be slanted, too  – but they can’t be distorted, knotted, woven, or lay across another stitch.

The pathway of a stitch is the order and direction in which you execute the stitches in a pattern. In the case of the woven plait stitch, your stitching thread encircles canvas threads as you move forward along a row and that means you end up with just as much thread on the back of your work as you do on the front.

Here’s the woven plait stitch diagram for you… 

The woven plait stitch is also sometimes referred to as simply the woven stitch.

Why do you need to know those things? Well, when you understand why stitches belong to different families, it helps you make better choices about which stitches to use together on your projects. And when you master envisioning the path that the thread travels across the back of your canvas for any stitch pattern, it helps you identify scenarios where it might be beneficial to adjust the pathway to achieve a particular look. (More about that in another blog post. 😉 )

Now, let’s look at some of the different ways you can use the woven plait stitch on your canvases…

One of my favorite applications is for grass…

So let’s explore some different threads that you can use to create lush green lawns.

Grass with a wide smooth blade (like St. Augustine) would be lovely when worked in a single strand of Straw Silk. A couple of my favorite colors are Prickly Stick (#422) and Mary Jane (#480).

But if you want your grass to be finer – like Zoysia – then you might opt to use Rainbow Linen or Watercolours. If you’re working on an 18 mesh canvas, use one or two strands of Rainbow Linen in Leaf Green (R479) or Greenery (R492). Watercolours, by the Caron Collection, has two especially lovely greens that I like to use for grass: Emerald (#65) and Guacamole (#206). Use one strand of Watercolours if working on an 

18 mesh canvas. And if you’re working on a 13/14 mesh canvas, simply increase the number of strands of either thread as needed to achieve your desired coverage.               

The woven plait stitch is a good option for grassy lawns on your needlepoint canvases.                

The woven plait stitch works quite well for treetops, too!

If the trees on your canvas are in the background, then you’ll want to use a lighter weight thread than if they’re in the foreground – to maintain a sense of perspective. 

For example, if your canvas features a stand of pine trees in the distance, you might use two – four strands of ThreadworX Overdyed Cotton Floss to add just enough texture to create some visual interest. (Use two strands for 18 mesh canvas and 4 strands for 13/14 mesh canvas.)

But if a great big Christmas tree is the focal point of your design, then you’ll want to use something more luxuriant. (Think Gloriana Silk Floss in Holiday Green/#16 or Avonlea Green/#161.)

Finally, the woven stitch makes a mighty fine basket…

whether you’re stitching an Easter basket, a picnic basket, or some other kind of woven wonder. And this basket example is the perfect opportunity to emphasize how your choice of thread directly affects the look you’re trying to achieve.

For instance, if you want to create a froufrou and fanciful Easter basket, use 2mm silk ribbon or Neon Rays in soft pastel colors. But if there’s a sturdy picnic basket on your piece, Rainbow Tweed would be a better option. (By the way, some really terrific rustic basket colors of Rainbow Tweed are RT34/Mahogany, RT36/Dark Tan, and RT40/Nutmeg.)    

The woven plait stitch is a "no-brainer" choice for stitching baskets on your needlepoint projects.

Okey dokey, my friend – that brings us to the end of our chat about the woven plait stitch. Thank you for stopping by and I’ll see you again next week. 🙂

Until then, happy stitching…

Stitch with a smile!

8 thoughts on “Decorative Stitch Deep Dive: All About The Woven Plait Stitch”

    • Hi Jan!
      Thank you for sharing how you’ve used the woven stitch on a project. If you have a picture, I’d love to see it! You can send it to [email protected]. 🙂
      Have a lovely rest of your day!

  1. Thank you, Ellen! I’ve used this stitch often for background but need to try it on a Cooper Oaks canvas with the trees.

    • Ooooh – that sounds like a terrific idea, Pam! Please keep me posted on your project. I’d love to see…
      And thank you for being such a special part of our Stitcher’s Club family.

  2. Thanks for sharing, this is knowledgeable and very useful. I’m learning so much about thread choices for different stitches. All is very much appreciated.

    • I’m so glad you found it helpful, Charlette! Being able to match the right threads with your stitch selections is key to creating stellar effects that will really bring your needlepoint projects to life! And it’s my pleasure. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog – and for being part of our Stitcher’s Club family. 🙂

  3. Thank you for blogging about this stitch Ellen.
    You have given me ideas about where I can use it on some of my canvases and with several threads I had not thought about before.
    Love your thoughts and suggestions! As usual you are an inspiration.

    • Awww… thank you, Renée! I’m so glad you found the info helpful. I’d love to see how you choose to use it on a project, so please keep me posted. 😉
      And thank you for being a very special part of our Stitcher’s Club family!!


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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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