Embroidery Stitches

A Complete List of the Stitches on This Site

Here you will find a complete list of the embroidery stitches featured on this site. This includes the basic stitches that every beginner to embroidery should learn, as well as variations of well-known embroidery stitches and stitches for a wide range of embroidery types.

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    Working the Back Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    The Back Stitch is a basic embroidery and sewing stitch used to produce a thin line of stitching, to outline shapes that will be filled with satin stitch, or to stitch fabric pieces together.

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    Working the Blanket Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    The Blanket Stitch is a basic stitch that can be used to create an edging, used as a surface embroidery stitch, or to applique elements in place on an embroidery project. It is worked using open half-loops of stitching, similar to a hand-worked buttonhole stitch.

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    Working the Bosnian Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    The Bosnian stitch can be used in a surface embroidery, freestyle or counted thread embroidery project where a zigzag line is needed. There are several different ways the stitch can be worked, and two variations are given here in this article.

    This page features a method for working the Bosnian stitch on one pass, while the next step shows a quick-stitch method that is worked in two passes.

    Regardless of the method you select, this stitch should be worked while having the embroidery fabric held...MORE taut in an embroidery hoop for best results. This will ensure that the stitches are not worked too tightly or loosely.

  • 04 of 57

    Buttonhole Stitch - Crossed

    Working the Crossed Buttonhole Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    The Crossed Buttonhole Stitch is a variation of the standard buttonhole stitch, a common surface embroidery or edging stitch. It gets its name from the cross stitch-like pattern created when working the stitch and is a beautiful accent to a cross stitch or embroidery project.

    The crossed buttonhole stitch, like the blanket stitch, is a versatile stitch that can be worked freehand on the surface or counted, to ensure accurate spacing. Work the design along a hemmed edge, to outline a shape or...MORE create a decorative band.​

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  • 05 of 57

    Cable Stitch

    Working the Cable Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    The Cable Stitch can be worked along a straight or curved line on plainweave or evenweave fabric, and can be grouped into rows as a filling stitch.

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    Working the Chain Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    Learn to work the basic Chain Stitch, the chain stitch as a filling, as well as the proper way to change thread when working this easy stitch.

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    Chain Stitch - Cable

    Working the Cable Chain Stitch Two Ways - Straight and ZigZag. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com
    The Cable Chain features rows of linked chain stitches worked in a straight or zigzag pattern. The linked chains cen be used as outlines or borders.
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    Working the Single Chain Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    Learn to work a single, Detached Chain Stitch. This stitch forms the basis of stitches like the lazy daisy.

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    Working Multiple Rows of Chain Stitch as a Filling. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    Chain Stitch Filling is worked in multiple, concentric rows until an item is completely filled.

  • 10 of 57

    Chain Stitch - Lazy Daisy

    The Lazy Daisy is not a stitch per se, but is instead a group of single, detached chain stitches arranged in the shape of a flower. Learn to work a basic lazy daisy stitch.

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    Chain Stitch - Feathered

    Working the Feathered Chain Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    The Feathered Chain Stitch is a decorative hand embroidery stitch that utilizes detached chain stitches arranged in a zig-zag pattern as if working the feather stitch, forming a hybridized stitch.

    This highly textured surface embroidery stitch is wider than a standard chain stitch, making it perfect for use in wide bands and rows.

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    Working the Square Chain Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    The Square Chain Stitch is a chunky, open version of a standard chain stitch. This stitch can be used alone as an interesting border or outline stitch, or pass ribbon or other trims under the stitch for a multi-layered effect.

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    Chain Stitch - Twisted

    Working the Twisted Chain Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    The Twisted Chain Stitch is worked similarly to a standard row of chain stitch, with the exception of the second insertion point of the needle being outside the previous stitch. When used singly, a stitch resembles a small fish. Add a French knot eye and you have an easy element to use in a beach-themed project.

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    Working the Chevron Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    The Chevron Stitch is a surface embroidery stitch worked using long diagonal stitches topped with a horizontal cap stitch. This stitch can be used in straight rows and bands. It can also be stitches along a curved edge if guidelines are carefully marked on the fabric.

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    Working the Double Chevron Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    The Double Chevron Stitch can be used in bands and borders and may be worked in a single color or two colors. It is worked similarly to standard chevron stitch but in two passes. The first pass is worked as a standard chevron stitch, while the second pass weaves through the first.

  • 16 of 57
    How to Work a Colonial Knot. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    The Colonial Knot is a larger, sturdier knot used in surface embroidery, especially candlewick embroidery using heavy threads on sturdy cotton or linen fabrics.

    Learn more about this knot by visiting the Candlewicking Tutorial.

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  • 17 of 57
    Joining Material Using the Cretan Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    The Open Cretan Stitch is similar to feather stitch, as it uses interlocking curved stitches, but is made using stitches that are vertical along the top and bottom edges, rather than curved.

    It can be used to outline shapes, as a border, or to join two pieces of material together using a decorative, open lacy stitch.

  • 18 of 57
    Working the Cross Stitch Singly and in Rows. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    Cross Stitch is commonly worked on Aida fabric by stitching one stitch over each square in the fabric, or counted by working over two threads when using an evenweave fabric.

    However, cross stitch can also be used as a surface embroidery stitch when working with pre-stamped items, hot iron or other embroidery transfers.

  • 19 of 57
    Working Chinese Cross Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    Unlike standard cross stitch, which is worked diagonally, Chinese Cross Stitch is worked using a single horizontal and two vertical straight stitches (groups of three). It makes a pretty border or edging on a project, and can be worked in a single row, or multiple rows.

    The stitching area can be pre-marked on the fabric, worked freestyle, or worked as a counted stitch.

  • 20 of 57

    Cross Stitch - Long-Armed or Elongated

    Working the Long Armed Cross Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    The Long-Armed Cross Stitch, sometimes referred to as an elongated cross stitch, can be used in bands and rows, or two outline or frame a section of a design in counted thread embroidery projects. The stitch is worked nearly identically to a standard cross stitch, with the exception that the second leg of the stitch is elongated. When worked in rows, the stitches cross each other and resemble a braid.

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    Working the Upright Cross Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    The Upright Cross Stitch can be used as a scattered or engineered filling stitch, or in bands and borders. It is worked similarly to standard cross stitch, with the exception of the stitches being worked vertically and horizontally, rather than diagonally.

    Upright cross stitch can be worked as a counted stitch on linen or Aida embroidery fabric, or pre-marked on a plainweave embroidery fabric.

  • 22 of 57

    Ermine Stitch

    Working the Ermine Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    The Ermine Stitch can be worked singly or in rows, or scattered as a filling stitch. It's made from three stitches - a vertical stitch crossed by two diagonal stitches - and is easy to work.

    This stitch can be used as a counted stitch, or as a surface embroidery stitch and can be worked freestyle or pre-marked on the fabric for perfect placement. It gets its name due to its resemblance to the furry tail of an ermine.

  • 23 of 57
    Basic Eyelet Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    The Basic Eyelet Stitch, also knows as a star stitch or Algerian eye, can be worked singly, in rows, or clustered together as a filling. Learn to work a basic 12-spoke eyelet with these directions.

  • 24 of 57
    The Algerian Eye. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    The Algerian Eye stitch is work in the same manner as the basic eyelet, but has just 8 spokes and is over a counted number of threads in the pattern. As for other eyelet stitches, work the stitch from the outside edges to the center, forming an indentation in the center to make a small hole or eye.

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    Working the Feather Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    Feather Stitch is light and airy. These two versions of the stitch are worked similarly, creating an open line of embroidery stitching that can be used for borders, around shapes, or to attach appliques.

  • 26 of 57
    Working the Closed Feather Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    Closed Feather Stitch forms a band with closed edges, rather than open, lacy sides. This stitch can be used along straight lines, or along curved lines if carefully spaced. It can also be used as a couching stitch and looks nice holding ribbon in position on a fabric.

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    Working the Triple Feather Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    In the Double Feather Stitch, stitches are worked in left and right groups, forming a more intricate - and wider - band of stitching. Use this stitch for bands and rows, or to add pizazz to a thick hemmed edge.

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    Working the Straight Feather Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    The Single Feather Stitch has stitches aligned to one side.

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    Variations of the Straight Feather Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    The same stitch used in the Single Feather stitch can be used to create variations of the same stitch, as in this Straight Feather variation.

  • 30 of 57
    Working the Fern Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    The Fern Stitch is a surface embroidery stitch used to create an open, lacy stitch along a straight or curved line. It's beautiful worked as tree branches, ferns, or seaweed in a project.

    Each section of the fern stitch is worked as a group of three straight stitches, all worked into the same ending hole. The groups are stitched repeatedly to make a row.

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    Working the Fly Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    The Fly Stitch is a surface embroidery stitch that can be worked singly, as a scattered or engineered filling, and in rows.

  • 32 of 57
    Working the Four-Sided Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    The Four-Sided Stitch is one of the common stitches used in counted embroidery including drawn thread or pulled thread embroidery, and forms a row of squares along the length of the fabric on the right side, and a row of crosses on the back side.

    Technically, only the first stitch is truly four-sided, with the adjoining stitches made from three additional stitches attached to the side wall of the previous stitch.

    This stitch can be used in borders and rows, to accent a hem, or to frame an element...MORE in an embroidery design

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  • 33 of 57
    Working a French Knot. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    The French Knot is easy to work after a small bit of practice. Here you will learn to make a basic French knot and a variation with a tail.

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    French Knot with a Tail

    Working the French Knot with a Tail. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    The French Knot with Tail stitch is worked similarly to a standard French knot but has a tail. It works well used as a small flower, as a flower center, or as stamens.

  • 35 of 57
    Working the Herringbone Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    The Herringbone Stitch is worked along parallel lines on an evenweave fabric. These lines can be marked or you can count the threads in your fabric to space the stitches. This stitch has many variations.

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    Working the Double Herringbone Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    The Double Herringbone Stitch is worked using two passes of the single herringbone stitch and is most often worked in two colors.

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    Working the Laced Herringbon Stitch. Working the Stem Stitch

    This variation of the Laced Herringbone Stitch is worked in two passes in two colors or weights of thread.

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    How to Work the Tied Herringbone Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    The Tied Herringbone Stitch is a variation of the standard herringbone stitch and is worked in two passes with two colors or weights of thread.

  • 39 of 57
    Working the Japanese Darning Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    The Japanese Darning Stitch can be used as a filling stitch, or as a pretty border, row or edging. It is worked in multiple passes, with the horizontal running stitches worked first, followed by diagonal stitches that tie the rows of running stitches together, forming a zigzag or box pattern.

    The diagram shows a completed set of stitches, forming a row. However, the stitch can be used to form very wide bands by adding additional rows of stitches to the first completed set.

  • 40 of 57
    Diagonal Laid Filling Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    A basic Laid Filling Stitch makes a pretty, open filling and is perfect for flower petals and leaves in both surface embroidery and crewel projects, worked in lines that run diagonally.

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    Square Laid Filling Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    A basic Laid Filling Stitch makes a pretty, open filling and is perfect for flower petals and leaves in both surface embroidery and crewel projects, worked in lines that run vertically and horizontally.

  • 42 of 57
    Working the Parisian Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    The Parisian Stitch is a surface embroidery stitch worked in vertical and horizontal straight stitches, and mimics blanket stitch. Use the Parisian stitch to outline a shape, add appliques to a project, stitched along a hem, or used in bands and rows in an embroidery project. It can also be worked as a counted thread stitch.

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    Working the Running Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    The Running Stitch is one of the most basic stitches and is usually the first stitch learned by the beginner embroidery enthusiast or sewing student. This stitch can be worked in straight or curved lines, or for assembly when finishing an embroidery project.

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    Working the Double Running Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    The Double Running Stitch is worked in two passes of running stitch, with the second pass filling the gaps made in the first pass.

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    Rice Stitch

    Working the Rice Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    The Rice Stitch can be used as a scattered or engineered filling stitch, or in bands and borders. It is worked similarly to standard cross stitch, with the exception of small diagonal stitches worked over the ends of each arm of the larger crossed stitch. Rice stitch can be worked as a counted stitch, or pre-marked on the fabric.

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    Basic, Flat Satin Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    Basic, flat Satin Stitch is an easy filling stitch that can be used to fill smaller areas that are not to be raised, and has also been called the flat satin stitch due to its lack of padding.

    Other variations of the satin stitch include the long & short satin stitch, padded satin stitch (the inside area of the shape is padded with seed stitch, multiple layers of satin stitch, or an outline stitch filling), outlined stitch, or an outline stitch filling), outlined satin stitch and shaded satin...MORE stitch.

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    Satin Stitch - Long & Short

    Working the Shaded Long & Short Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    This version of the Long & Short Satin Stitch can be used in a single color or in multiple colors to create a shaded filling.

  • 48 of 57

    Satin Stitch - Padded

    Working the Filled or Raised Satin Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    Padded Satin Stitch is worked in the same manner as basic, flat satin stitch, but is worked over a padding of stitches to give the area a raised, dimensional appearance.

    This stitch can also be worked over a padding of fusible interfacing or felt cut to shape and tacked in place.

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    Working the Scroll Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    The Scroll Stitch is an elegant, decorative and highly textured stitch resembles scrolls, waves or water and can be worked along straight or curved lines.

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    Square Boss Stitch

    Working the Square Boss Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    The Square Boss Stitch can be used as a scattered or engineered filling stitch, or in bands and borders. It is worked identically to the rice stitch with the exception of the smaller stitches crossing the arms being worked lightly, smaller and much closer to the center of the large foundation stitch.

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    Working the Running Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    The Running Stitch is a basic stitch and is usually the first stitch learned by the beginner embroidery enthusiast or sewer. This stitch can be worked in straight or curved lines, or for assembly when finishing an embroidery project.

  • 52 of 57
    Working the Sheaf Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    The Sheaf Stitch is a surface embroidery stitch that can be worked singly as a design element, in rows, or in a random pattern as a filling stitch. It can be worked freestyle or counted using and evenweave fabric.

    The stitch is composed of three vertical stitches tied together with a doubled horizontal stitch. It gets its name from the bundled threads resembling a sheaf of wheat.

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    Working the Single and Double Seed Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    The single Seed Stitch and Double Seed Stitch are versatile, basic embroidery stitches that can be used as a light filling, or to work the raised or padded satin stitch. Both versions of the stitch are worked in the same manner.

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    Working the Stem Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    Stem Stitch is one of the most common embroidery stitches. It is worked as a thin line and can be used to outline embroidered shapes, as flower and plant stems, and in tendrils. Stem stitch can also be worked as a filling.

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    Working the Stem Stitch as a Filling. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    Stem Stitch Filling is worked in concentric rows to completely fill an area.

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    Working the Basic Straight Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    Standard or basic Straight Stitch is a simple embroidery stitch created using a straight, long stitch individually or in patterns. This popular surface embroidery stitch can be worked on any type of embroidery fabric including plainweave. Using straight stitches arranged in groups you can make leaves and flowers or geometric designs. Premark the fabric, or work the stitch freestyle, creating an infinite number of unique patterns.

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    Straight Stitch - Counted

    Working the Straight Stitch in a Patterned Row. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

    The Counted Straight Stitch a simple embroidery stitch created using a straight, long stitch individually or in patterns covering a designated number of threads in the embroidery fabric. This stitch is common in counted thread embroidery projects including hardanger and drawn thread embroidery. It is worked similarly to a basic satin stitch.