The Hollie Stitch, known also as Hollie Point, Holy Point, Nun's Work and other names, has a long history. A common needle made lace of the Middle Ages, the term Hollie Point is a corruption of Holy Point, originally used to denote varied church laces which would include Cut or Drawn Work, Darned Netting or Needlepoint.
Always white and made with linen thread, the patterns used for this type of lace making would be Biblical subjects or sacred emblems. England, Flanders, Italy and Spain all produced Hollie Points and until the beginning of the 17th century, its use was only for church purposes.
During the reign of James I (1603-1625) the Puritans were the first to use this type of embroidery for clothing decoration. English samplers of this same period favoured flower calices, centres and petals delicately worked in Hollie Point. Verses of poetry and dating can be seen on old samplers worked in this ancient technique as well.
In the 18th century, the Hollie Point Sampler took on a practical application and was commonly used for decorating baby clothing, especially christening gowns and carrying cloths.