Turkey Work

Turkey Work (Turkey Stitch) is a great way to create fluffy textures. It’s made by alternating tiny anchor stitches with looped stitches - you’ll cut the loops at the end. I’ve used 2 strands of thread here.

I find it easiest to work Turkey Stitch in parallel lines - even on curved shapes, I’ll use lines of Turkey Work in parallel to create the effect.

As the stitches are so small, Turkey Work is quite a time consuming stitch - but I think the end result is worth it!

1. Start with a tiny anchor stitch - just a couple of millimetres across.

2. Then, carefully bring your needle up, right in the middle of your tiny anchor stitch, splitting the thread.

3. Pull your needle all the way through.

4. Next, go along the line just a few millimetres, and create a small stitch - but don’t pull the thread tight! Leave a loop hanging free.

5. Then, go back on yourself, and bring your needle up in the gap created by your loop stitch (this can take a few tries!)

6. Finally, go forward a few millimetres to create another tiny anchor stitch. Pull this one tight. These anchor stitches are crucial to making sure the threads don’t fall out when they are cut at the end.

7. Repeat: come up right in the middle of your last anchor stitch; then go forward a few millimetres and create your loop stitch. Come up in the middle of your loop stitch; then create your small anchor stitch. I try to keep my loops the same size - but these bits will be trimmed later, so a bit of variation doesn’t matter too much!

8. Keep going all the way along the line. Once you’ve filled your shape with lines of Turkey Work, make sure your last stitch is an anchor stitch and tie off.

Then comes the fun bit!

9. Take a small, sharp pair of scissors; catch a few loops of thread in them; then cut through the tops of the loops! Gently run the scissor blade through the thread, to make sure you’ve snipped all of the loops in half. Then, ruffle up the thread a bit, to create a fluffier effect. If you spot some loops that you’ve missed, give them a snip.

10. Finally, if you want the Turkey Work to look fairly uniform, give it a small haircut. Hold your scissors parallel to the fabric and snip sideways, so the fluffy threads end up roughly the same length. This can be a bit messy, so having a lint roller to hand can be useful!

Turkey Work: sorted!

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