The linen stitch, or point de toile, basically fills in the grid of a netted square with threads woven from top to bottom and side to side. The resulting appearance is like a loosely woven linen fabric. Sometimes the stitcher will add a thicker thread to create a border, scroll, stems, and other linear objects. This combination is called filet Richelieu. With the addition of other filling and raised stitches, the technique is called filet guipure.
The traditional linen stitch has two horizontal and two vertical threads per mesh square. It will be necessary to adjust the size of your thread or the number of stitched threads depending on the size of your netting. Usually a large dot or “X” is used on a chart to indicate the linen stitch.
It is important when doing the linen stitch that you go to the very bottom of the row/column and then through the adjacent hole to go up the next row/column. You want the thread to loop around the net thread between the rows/columns. This is often accomplished by plotting your path before you begin to stitch. Similar to the journey a stitcher takes to create reversible Blackwork, ideally you want to begin and end in the same mesh square. This takes some practice and planning.
Start where indicated weaving over and under following the route shown in blue. The return trip is done with regular weaving (in red) and edge stitching (in green). Remember that when you turn corners or go to the next mesh square you must go around a mesh post and not cut diagonally across the back.
Begin you return trip and when you get to point A you will work an edge stitch (shown below) along the side until you get to point B. Weave two columns and turn the corner. Do the edge stitch from point C to point D. Weave two rows and turn the corner. Do the edge stitch from point E to point F turn the corner and continue the edge stitch to Point G.