Hardanger Embroidery Tutorial Part 4 – Weaving and Dove’s Eye

picture of finished yellow and purple embroidery with title "hardanger tutorial part 4 - weaving and dove's eye".

After the fabric threads have been cut and removed, there are open spaces in the cloth.  The next step is to fill them in with stitching. This is what gives hardanger a beautiful lacy effect.

Weaving Bars


The first step is weaving bars. Using the size 8 Perle cotton (the same as the eyelets), bring the thread to the front in one of the corner holes.

getting the thread ready to begin weaving bars in hardanger embroidery.

Over and under

The groups of four straight fabric threads make bars. Weave the needle over two threads and under two threads on the nearest bar.

weaving thread bars with purple thread.

Back again

Pull the thread through then weave back in the other direction, over two and under two.

hardanger needle weaving

And so on

Continue going back and forth until the entire bar is done. End with the thread at the corner of the next bar.

one bar woven in purple thread.


Weave the next set in the same way, and continue along to the next groups.

hardanger weaving in progress.

When you finish a bar, begin on the adjacent bar. Do not carry thread across the piece or it will be visible.


This is how the weaving would be represented on a graph.

hardanger embroidery chart with weaving highlighted.

The full chart is available as a bonus to my newsletter subscribers. Join the list (bottom of the page) to get access to that and many other great resources.

Dove’s Eye

There are other filling stitches that can be used in the open areas. A Dove’s Eye is the most common one, so we will save the others for a more advanced project.

Stop during weaving

We will put the dove’s eye in the middle square, so when you are weaving the last bar around that square, stop in the middle of the bar.

preparing for the dove's eye embroidery.

First corner

Take a stitch in the middle of the bar directly to the right, being sure to catch the thread underneath the needle.

first corner of a dove's eye.

Second corner

Moving to the right again, take another stitch in the middle of the bar, catching the needle under the thread again.

second corner of dove's eye.

Third corner

Repeat in the third bar.

dove's eye in hardanger embroidery.

And back around

Coming back to the bar where it started, just slide the needle underneath the thread to catch it.

finishing the dove's eye.

Then continue on with weaving that bar and the rest of the bars.

transitioning from dove's eye to weaving bars in hardanger embroidery.


This is how a Dove’s Eye would be marked on a chart.

hardanger embroidery chart with dove's eye highlighted.

The full chart is available as a bonus to my newsletter subscribers. Join the list (bottom of the page) to get access to that and many other great resources.


Now the embroidery is finished, so you have many options.  You can make it into a pincushion or pillow, frame the piece, or (because of the blanket stitches) you can cut the piece out to stand alone.

Carefully trim the fabric close to the blanket stitches, but be careful not to cut the stitches themselves.

hardanger final cut

Completed piece

You’re done!  Add a thread to hang it and it will make a nice Christmas decoration or window hanger.

close up of completed hardanger piece embroidered with yellow and purple thread on white fabric.

Don’t be too OCD, but Hardanger should be neat on the back, especially if you are going to have it hanging up.  Even if you are making a pillow where the back won’t be visible, any loose threads might be visible because of the open work.  

Reverse side of finished hardanger embroidery.

Keep this in mind as you are stitching, and weave threads under the Kloster blocks to carry them from one place to another.  For the woven bars, begin and end the threads at the Kloster blocks.

Be sure to explore other designs with this beautiful technique.


Elizabeth DeCroos - Epida Studio.

Elizabeth DeCroos

Elizabeth DeCroos is the designer and teacher at Epida Studio. She loves to work in quilting, pojagi and embroidery and teach these techniques to others.
Learn more and get her to speak to your group.

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