The Bargello Stitch

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The Bargello needlepoint stitch is very basic and simple. It is a single stitch made by coming up in one hole on the needlepoint canvas, crossing several threads, and going down in the next hole. Based on the design, the stitch may vary in length as low as two threads and as high as eight threads.

The neat thing about the bargello stitch is that it moves up or down the needlepoint canvas row by row until the desired design takes shape. Simple bargello designs use a 4-1 step (over four threads and one space above or below the last stitch) or 4-2 step (over four threads and two spaces above or below the last stitch).

More intricate and creative projects are made by varying the step and repeating a pattern of single and then two or more stitches side by side for a smooth or sharp effect.

In addition to the vertical stitching position, you can use the same varying lengths to stitch over horizontal threads. As you get the edge of the canvas, stitch lengths can be shortened as long as they are kept in the established pattern.

Your Turn

Have some fun with the Bargello Stitch. Cut a piece of needlepoint canvas and use a few threads from your stash to practice. When you’re finished, turn your practice piece into a coaster, napkin ring or ornament.

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