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What Is a Filet Crochet?

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  • Written By: J.M. Densing
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 15 September 2016
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Filet crochet is a technique that produces an interesting mesh design and is often used to create projects with patterns that resemble pictures. It can create many types of crocheted fabric including lace runners and doilies. The design is based on a grid pattern, with some squares open and others filled in. It is created using two basic stitches — the chain stitch and double crochet. Filet crochet is considered to be easier than it appears by many enthusiasts, and it's possible to find ready-made patterns to follow or to create original ones with a little experience.

Items created with filet crochet often have an intricate pattern of open and filled mesh squares. Frequently the pattern of filled squares can resemble pictures or shapes against the open-work background. Popular motifs include flowers, hearts, animals, and letters, but it's possible to find patterns for a staggering variety of designs. When using fine gauge cotton and a small hook, the filet crochet technique is able to produce items such as doilies, runners, and edging.

The design of filet crochet is frequently referred as mesh; it is based on a grid, which consists of a series of joined squares, also called meshes. Some of the squares are filled in with crochet work, and others are left empty, or open. This design is created using two basic stitches, i.e, the chain and double crochet stitch. The latter is referred to as treble in some European countries.

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In filet crochet, the vertical edges of all squares, open or filled, are created with one double crochet stitch that forms the side for both adjoining meshes. If an open square is being created, the top and bottom edges are worked using the chain stitch and the middle is empty. For filled squares, several double crochet stitches, usually three or four, are used instead of chaining. This results in a filled in, solid square. The filled squares are often placed in the pattern to form some type of picture or recognizable design.

Although the results appear intricate and complex, filet crochet is considered to be relatively simple to create. Once an individual learns to read the pattern correctly, crocheting the design employes some of the most basic stitches; most hobbyists are able to become proficient in the technique. When beginning to filet crochet, most people use ready-made patterns, which are easy to find and are widely available in books and on the Internet. It's also possible to find video tutorials to assist in the learning process. More experienced crocheters can also create their own filet patterns with graph paper or computer software.

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