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Cutwork Embroidery

By Admin Saturday October 1, 2016

Cutwork Embroidery, also known as Roman or Venetian embroidery, involves cutting out small shapes from the interiors of a pattern on cloth followed by embroidering the crude edges. It is extensively used to design clothing and home furnishing like curtains, and tablecloths.

Cutwork Embroidery
Cutwork Embroidery

How to Do Cutwork Embroidery

Though the technique can be done by machine, we will learn the steps of doing it by hand in this tutorial. For machine cutwork embroidery, using cutwork needles instead of the ordinary embroidery ones makes the job easier for you.


  • Embroidery hoop
  • Sharp, small embroidery scissors
  • Embroidery pattern
  • High-quality linen fabric
  • Silk(for bordering the motif) and linen (for making the bars) threads in colors of your choice
  • Needle (preferably a cutwork needle)
  • Iron


Step 1: Make the linen fabric smooth by ironing.

Step 2: Trace the pattern on your fabric.

Cutwork Embroidery Picture 1

Step 3: Secure the fabric tightly in the embroidery hoop. However, it should not be too tight.

Step 4: Outline the pattern with running stitches. Do not pull the stitches too tight lest the fabric becomes puckered.

Cutwork Embroidery Picture 2

Step 5: While outlining the pattern, whenever you come across a point that has a bar, bring the needle up through any one of the parallel lines of running stitches and pass it across to the other line on the opposite side where you bring the needle down.

Step 6: Repeat 2 more times so that you have a bunch of 3 threads going across. Remember, the more the number of repetitions the thicker the bars.

Cutwork Embroidery Picture 3

Step 7: Now begin doing the detached buttonhole stitch on the bunch until you return to the original side from which the needle initially came up.

[N.B. Prevent the buttonhole bar from twisting while working it by consistently stitching towards yourself and pulling the yarn tight as you proceed.]

Cutwork Embroidery Picture 4

Step 8: Cut carefully inside the pattern avoiding the bars and keeping a distance of about 1/8” from the running stitches.

Cutwork Embroidery Picture 5

Step 9: Satin stitch or buttonhole stitch along the rough edges to cover the 1/8” gap. Tuck the uneven fabric inside as you go along.

[N.B. Alternatively, some people prefer to give the buttonhole stitch border prior to any cutting since it reduces chances of ruffling and puckering of the fabric. However, the sequence adopted in this tutorial gives a cleaner edge.]

Cutwork Embroidery Picture 6

Step 10: Hand wash the fabric to get rid of any marks of tracing. Air dry and iron it flat.

Cutwork Embroidery Picture 7


There are many variations of cutwork, the simplest being Broderie Anglaise. Reticella cutwork is the most elaborate kind and that makes it the classiest of all. It is just a step away from needle lace. Richelieu cutwork embroidery is another interesting type.

Reticella Cutwork Embroidery
Reticella Cutwork Embroidery
Richelieu Cutwork Embroidery
Richelieu Cutwork Embroidery

Cutwork Hand Embroidery Video Tutorial

Free Cutwork Embroidery Designs

Your design for cutwork embroidery projects can range from vintage to contemporary. Create beautiful table runners, pillowcases and suits with this technique.

Cutwork Embroidery Free Patterns Pictures

Cutwork Embroidery Pattern

A rose open cutwork design with lace ornamentation on your favorite sweater or sweat looks enviably feminine.

Rose Cutwork Embroidery Images

Rose Cutwork Embroidery Top

You can try this Christmas tree pattern on napkins and tea towels for ringing in the holiday mood.

Christmas Cutwork Embroidery Designs Images

Christmas Cutwork Embroidery Towel

For a welcome change to your attire, try out this pattern at the back of a blouse.

Pictures of Cutwork Lace Embroidery Designs

Flower Vase Cutwork Embroidery

You will love to flaunt this sophisticated embroidery on your dresses and home décor items as much as you will love to make it on your own. Go ahead and personalize your T-shirts and gifts by working up fonts and monograms applying this method.

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