Turkey Stitch - Embroidering Paper – Leah Nikolaou

Turkey Stitch - Embroidering Paper

Working turkey stitch into paper needs to be adapted so that you don't pierce the holes too close together & tear the paper. 

embroidery stitches

When I first tried to embroider fringing, I couldn't find a clear enough video or guide that was slow enough to grasp. So here I've put together a simple video guide and an illustrated step-by-step, demonstrating how I work turkey stitch into paper.

Watch the video to get the overall idea, and then follow the illustrated guide on the back of an envelope, page of an old book, or piece of paper you don't need. There is a beginner activity at the bottom of this post!

This turkey stitch is also quite commonly referred to as turkey work stitch or turkey loop stitch in embroidery. Loops are made with embroidery and then cut to make the fringing.  

Turkey Stitch Embroidery Video 

Turkey Stitch Step By Step Guide

1.  Pierce through the back of your paper through the centre (A).

Make a loop with your finger and hold, then stitch down C to secure.

2.  Next still holding loop, come up B and go down A.  (see below)

Illustration of Embroidery stitches guide

3.  Come up hole B, make a loop with your finger and hold, then stitch down D.

4.  Next still holding loop, come up C and go down B to secure (see blow.)

How to add fringe edges illustration

5.  Come up hole c, make a loop with your finger and hold, then stitch down E.

6.  Next still holding loop, come up D and go down C to secure (see blow.)

Fringe Embroidery technique illustration

7.  Continue in the same pattern as illustrated above. Until you reach the end of your line.

Turkey loop stitch illustration

8.  At the end of your line you will need to work two stitches as above, E to D, then F to E.

9.  Lastly cut along all of the loops to make the fringing. Trim to make neat.

How to master the art of fringe embroidery illustration

TURKEY STITCH PROJECT - MAKE YOUR ART FROM AN OLD BOOK PAGE

Have a go at this simple project to master turkey stitch and create a fun piece of book art simultaneously!

  1. Choose a page to upcycle from an old book.
  2. Draw a straight line and draw spots along it with a biro or pen evenly spaced apart. How far apart you put them depends on the weight of the wool you use.  

    how to do turkey stitch

    3. Work the looped turkey stitches across your line using the video and illustrated instructions above. Choose how long you want your loops to be depending on how long you want your fringing. If you hold your loop down on the page, as shown above, that is roughly how long your fringe will be once cut.

    turkey stitch

    Above are rows of straight fringing all 1.5cm (0.75 inches) long.

    turkey work

    4. It's also fun to vary the length of the stitches and the shape. One way of doing this is by changing the length of the loops as you work the turkey stitch or by shaping with scissors after you have cut the loops.


    5. Treat the fringing as if creating a highlighted line to show a particular line or paragraph in the book. Below I've highlighted some sentences beginning with 'Pink,' 'Pink Favourite,' and 'Pink Parfait,' but you could highlight a favourite quote or piece of text.

    embroidered on paper

    5. Play with different colours and different weights of wool for a unique piece.
    If you have enjoyed this project, check out our next project using this technique: how to embroider a simple rose, coming soon!


    You can also see how we have used it in this embroidery design to create giant embroidered owl’s eyes.

     

    3 comments

    • It’s definitely never too late to take up a new hobby and embroidery is a great choice, with endless possibilities.

      Mrs Leah Nikolaou
    • It’s definitely never too late to take up a new hobby and embroidery is a great choice, with endless possibilities.

      Mrs Leah Nikolaou
    • This will be great fun to learn and practice. I’m finally (in my old age) learning to embroider!

      Jessica

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