Buttonhole stitch

Embroidery with stems in buttonhole and leaves in detached buttonhole stitch, worked in natural perle cotton on cotton-linen fabric, United States, 1990s.
Buttonhole stitch in embroidery
Raised buttonhole scallops, from Isabella Beeton's Beeton's Book of Needlework[1]

Buttonhole stitch and the related blanket stitch are hand-sewing stitches used in tailoring, embroidery, and needle lace-making.

Buttonhole stitches catch a loop of the thread on the surface of the fabric and needle is returned to the back of the fabric at a right angle to the original start of the thread. The finished stitch in some ways resembles a letter "L" depending on the spacing of the stitches. For buttonholes the stitches are tightly packed together and for blanket edges they are more spaced out. The properties of this stitch make it ideal for preventing raveling of woven fabric.

Buttonhole stitches are structurally similar to featherstitches.


In addition to reinforcing buttonholes and preventing cut fabric from raveling, buttonhole stitches are used to make stems in crewel embroidery, to make sewn eyelets, to attach applique to ground fabric, and as couching stitches. Buttonhole stitch scallops, usually raised or padded by rows of straight or chain stitches, were a popular edging in the 19th century.

Buttonhole stitches are also used in cutwork, including Broderie Anglaise, and form the basis for many forms of needlelace.

Other Languages
Deutsch: Schlingstich
italiano: Punto asola
Nederlands: Knoopsgatensteek
Türkçe: İlik dikiş