Saturday, December 18, 2010

Gigliuccio Hemstitch - How to

As mentioned previously, the Gigliuccio or Peahole Hemstitch has many different methods of execution. I have tried a few and all have their merits but since so many of you have asked how to do it, I will show you the way I currently like the best. I prepared a brief tutorial last year for an online friend, so I will be using that and elaborating a bit.

You need to prepare your channels of withdrawn thread areas for the first part of the Gigliuccio which is executed in Punto Quadro or Four-Sided Stitch. Again, there are many ways to execute Punto Quadro but I'm going to show you how I have learned it.

For this example we will withdraw one ground thread and skip four, withdraw 8 ground threads, skip four and withdraw one ground thread. The middle part (the 8 threads) can vary depending on the look you want to achieve and the type of fabric you are using. You shouldn't make too wide of a withdrawn area, as your Gigliuccio can be difficult to control.

On the front of the work, let's execute the Punto Quadro. I turn the work so that the part that would be the turned-up hem is on the left-hand side (click on the photo for a closer look):

Here is what the front and back look like when we have completed this row:

Now we return to do the second part which is a combination of Punto Quadro and the Gigliuccio.

We'll do one Punto Quadro as before and half of a second one. Then we're going to wrap around the second bundle of threads once:

Bring the needle around to encircle the two bundles to form a loop with the thread, be careful to go behind the bundles and bring the needle through the loop:

Notice that the needle goes behind the bundles but in front of the thread of the loop - this is important!

Pull the thread to the left and position the knot with your thumbnail a little to the left of the half-way point of the open area. Tighten the knot, but you don't need to pull really hard, just enough to close it:

Now go back and wrap the second bundle taking care not to not to pass through the loop you are making but under it - we're not creating another knot, just a wrap. When this is done, your knot should have moved slightly to the right and into the half-way position of the open area.

We must wrap the second bundle one more time to complete the third leg of the Punto Quadro. Again, be careful not to pass the needle through the loop you are forming. You can nudge the stitch down to the right-hand edge of the open area to make it level with the third leg of the previously done Punto Quadro.

The last leg of the Punto Quadro is the first leg of the next one, so we start again immediately with the next set:

This is what the front and back look like when we're done:

This is what it looks like in tone on tone:

This a double row of Gigliuccio with a hem (which is secured with a separate row of Simple Hemstitching).

To use it to secure a hem, it is executed on the back side of the work, check out this tutorial for the first part and this tutorial for the second part.


  1. Thank you! Thank you for this lesson, Jeanine!
    Can I ask how do you finish both sides?
    So far I could understand gigliuccio is the peahole hemstitch, is it?

  2. Hi Meri,
    For the sides I usually do an overcast or buttonhole edge. That's if I'm doing a single row which doesn't intersect with others. If it is intersecting with others then there are all kinds of ways to treat the intersections such as overcasting or darning. I promise to address this in another post!

  3. thanks, Jeanine!
    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  4. What a wonderful explanation. Thank you very much.

  5. Hi Jeanine,

    I found your blog Googling Italian needlework. What a treasure to find so much information! I have very recently been to Rome and found Le tele di Carlotta through your blog. A wonderful little shop. Very friendly owner. Some gorgeous linen :-))
    I also visited Canetta. They too, have some beautiful fabric, but not much else :-) Some of the magazines by Mani di Fata. I will visit your blog more often, and will be drooling, I am sure!
    Do you know of the website of ? It is like a treasure trove!
    Thank you very much for such a beautiful weblog. Lilian from the Netherlands