UPDATED: June 29, 2018
Milanese is one of those stitches we may not think about often, but it has so many interesting variations, it can really fire up your needlepoint.
Not only does it come in both diagonal and straight versions, you can make it different sizes, frame it, split it, and vary it in so many ways. These five stitches are all variations of Milanese and they make great textured stitches for needlepoint.
Please note though that on the spilt variations,there is exposed canvas. When using these stitches you need to either plan you color selection carefully or put Tent Stitches in the open spaces. Also not that when stitch straight stitch variations of Milanese (Upright MIlanese, etc), you will need to thicken your thread.
Remember to trace and number the outline, above click for full size, on your canvas.
Block 1 – Split Offset Milanese looks far more complicated than it is. The columns of Milanese that slant the same way actually line up. While the rows are offset from each other, but always in the same way. The columns provide a nice check that you have done the stitch correctly. This block is stitched in Needlepoint, Inc. silk.
Block 2 – Alternating Straight Milanese combines Straight Stitch Milanese triangles with vertical and horizontal stitches. It’s easiest to make if you stitch the Horizontal Milaneses first, then the vertical. It was stitched with doubled threads of pink #5 perle cotton and a doubled hand-dyed matte cotton.
Block 3 – Framed Vertical Milanese is stitched in Colorwash 12-ply silk from GlistenGloss and hand-dyed 4mm silk ribbon from Thread Gatherer. You can see from this block why it’s important to ply and recombine your threads; you get better coverage
Block 4 – Milanese-Mosaic Combo splits Milanese Stitches (in effect like half a Scotch Stitch) and replaces the missing halves with Mosaic Stitches slanting in the opposite direction. I stitched it all in Watercolours in two passes first stitching the Milanese, then the Mosaics. Stitching this way makes the overdye more random. You could also use a different thread for the Mosaics.
Block 5 – Baby Milanese has only three stitches in the triangles instead of the usual four. Two stitches per triangle wouldn’t read as this shape, but three is enough to create a clear triangle shape. The patch was stitched using YLI stranded silk.
About Janet M Perry
Janet Perry is the Internet's leading authority on needlepoint. She designs, teaches and writes, getting raves from her fans for her innovative techniques, extensive knowledge and generous teaching style. A leading writer of stitch guides, she blogs here and lives on an island in the northeast corner of the SF Bay with her family
Gayle Brewer says
I have found the first two patterns that I don’t like or just can’t get the hang of. In the Cashmere Sock it was no. two and five that have given me fits. I just couldn’t seem to get them started correctly, using the wrong type of thread, or just didn’t see the pattern repeat. I have done the stockings in more of a theme colorway can’t wait to do this one in red, white, and blue.
Janet Perry says
Let me look at it in the next couple of days and I’ll reply with some hints.