10 Different types of Heirloom Cutwork embroidery

In Cutwork Embroidery, double lines marking the edges of the design are worked with embroidery stitches, and then the surrounding areas are cut away. This is the simple version of it. But this has been re-invented so many times in so many variations.

Here are the main types of cutwork embroidery techniques that you can try.

In most of the cutwork techniques elaborated here, buttonhole stitches or blanket stitches are used over double design lines – this serves as the boundary for the cutting of the foundation fabric. The edges are first padded with a running stitch for the thick and stiff effect. Then they are overcast with buttonhole stitches or blanket stitches. You can learn more about working the cutwork designs here

Types of Cutwork Embroidery

Renaissance Cutwork

In this cutwork, the large spaces are cut out from the designs and some parts of the design are embroidered with laid stitches like satin stitch. Other than the edge stitching, these Cutwork designs are joined with woven bars worked over with buttonhole stitches. It is one of the most beautiful of all cutwork variations.

Richelieu Cutwork

This is a cutwork embroidery with open areas connected with buttonhole stitch worked bars.

Reticella cutwork

In this work several lace stitches are included inside the cut areas, giving the whole work a lace-like effect. The spaces inside are very small compared to all other cutwork techniques.

You can learn more about this in this blogĀ 

Broderie Anglaise/Eyelet embroidery

In this small round, holes are punched on the fabric and the edge is worked with buttonhole stitches. The small eyelet holes thus worked can be placed /combined to form the design and embellished with other forms of surface embroidery.

Hardanger work

This is a characteristic type of embroidery with square/rectangular-shaped cutouts (Kloster blocks ) with outlines worked in satin stitches. These small blocks are arranged to form a bigger design.

Hedebo work

This is a variation of the cutwork native to Denmark. It is worked on white or off-white Linen fabric with linen thread. The buttonhole stitch is used to do this work. The buttonhole stitch is used to make the lacy stitches which are worked along the edges as well as inside the cut spaces.

Roman Cutwork

This is a simple cutwork embroidery in which no lace effect or bars are made across as in the other work.

Ayrshire cutwork

In this work, heavily padded satin stitch is used to make the designs.

Venetian Cutwork

This is a cutwork embroidery that eliminated the whole of the foundation fabric. Everything is cut away except the padded edges of the design. First, the design outline is worked in satin stitches /buttonhole stitch and then the in-between foundation fabric is cut out.

Spanish cutwork

This is similar to Venetian cut work but the edges are treated differently – the cut edges are turned to the back and hemmed. Bars are made across the design and then the foundation fabric is cut and then turned to the back and hemmed at the back.

Related posts : Hand embroidery stitches; Blanket stitch ; Buttonhole stitch.; What are embroidery samplers

Updated on November 15, 2022 by Sarina Tariq


Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

Leave a Comment