How to Work the Detached Woven Picot Stitch

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    Detached Woven Picot Stitch

    Detached Woven Picot Stitch
    © Mollie Johanson, Licensed to

    There are several variations of picot stitch in embroidery, but the one you probably take notice of most often is Detached Woven Picot Stitch. What makes this stitch pop is that it literally stands out from the material on which you are working.

    The stitch forms a triangular shape, with the wider base attached to the fabric. The rest of the stitch is woven in a way that leaves it free or detached from the fabric. Use the detached woven picot stitch to make flower petals, leaves, feathers or simply to add some dimension to your work. It would work wonderfully for an embroidered garland of pennants!

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    Working the Stitch

    To work detached woven picot stitch, start with a long straight pin.

    Take the pin down through the fabric and back out again, vertically. The area where the pin is on the underside of the fabric should be about the size you want the stitch to be.

    Bring your threaded needle up through the fabric a little to the left of the pin's exit point (point 1). Bring the thread behind the head of the pin and go back down a little to the right of the pins exit point (point 2).

    Come up immediately next to the pin's exit point on the left side (point 3) and again bring the thread behind the head of the pin. This creates three vertical lines on which you will weave.

    Working from right to left, take the needle under, over and under the three lines. Snug the weaving thread close to the top by pushing it with the needle.

    Working from left to right, take the needle over, under, and over the three lines, and then snug the weaving thread close to the top.

    Continue this process, working back and forth, filling the stitch. 

    When you have reached the bottom of the stitch, bring the needle to the back of the fabric and secure the end. Remove the pin.

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    Stitched Example

    Detached Woven Picot Stitch Example
    © Mollie Johanson, Licensed to

    Detached woven picot stitch can be worked in different types of embroidery thread. A thicker thread that can't be separated into strands is easier to start with. Try perle cotton or even yarn.

    This stitch can take on different proportions based on how tall you make the initial base, including the placement of points 1 and 2. 

    As you are weaving the picot stitch, you should take care not to pull the horizontal weaving too tight, nor leave it too loose, which will cause the stitch to be misshapen.

    That said, you can use that to your advantage. For example, you can make a section of the stitch narrower either in the center or at the bottom of the triangle.

    Play around with this to see what kinds of shapes you like. Then, look for patterns that might work well with this stitch or create your own floralscape!