Working Feather Stitches and Variations

  • 01 of 06

    What Is the Feather Stitch?

    Feather Stitch Example
    Feather Stitch Example. Mollie Johanson

    The feather stitch and its variations are used in surface embroidery to create airy lines of stitching along curves or straight lines.


    It's one of the most basic and popular embroidery stitches that can be used to create an edge finish, used as a surface embroidery stitch, to stitch elements in place on an embroidery project, or to attach appliques.


    It can be marked on the fabric or worked as a counted stitch.  It is worked using open half-loops of stitching in single or multiple rows.


    This pattern...MORE is free for your own personal use only and is not to be used for items for resale.


    If others would like to have the pattern, please give them the URL of this page, so that they may come to these pages and print the pattern or instructions for themselves. Thank you for respecting my copyright.


    For additional information, see Copyright Myths Explained, or the U.S. Government Copyright Office at http://www.loc.gov/copyright.


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  • 02 of 06

    Working the Basic Feather Stitch

    Working the Feather Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com
    1. Bring the needle up through the fabric at the top left side (1) and down at the right (2), creating a loop on top of the embroidery fabric.
    2. Bring the needle up again near the center of the loop you just created, a short distance lower than the first loop (3) and down again to the right (4).
    3. Continue working interlocking loops to the desired length.

    Continue to 3 of 6 below.
  • 03 of 06

    Working the Straight Feather Stitch

    Working the Straight Feather Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com
    • The straight feather stitch is worked in the same manner as the basic feather stitch shown on the previous page, with the exception of the loops lining up.
    • When working the straight feather stitch, the loops are spaced one under the other along one side (in this case, aligned to the left), giving a straight appearance on the right or left side.
    • This stitch looks really pretty when used as an edging for a redwork embroidery design.

    Continue to 4 of 6 below.
  • 04 of 06

    Closed Feather Stitch

    Working the Closed Feather Stitch. © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com
    • The ​closed feather stitch is worked in the same manner as the basic feather stitch with the exception of the loops lining up along the side edges, forming a closed edge.
    • When working the closed feather stitch, the entry point of the successive loops is placed in the same spot on the fabric as the exit point of the preceding loops.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    More Variations on the Feather Stitch

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

    The​ feather stitch also can be worked with a straight edge along the center or sides of a stitched band.


    Continue to 6 of 6 below.
  • 06 of 06

    Double Feather Variation

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

    In this version of the​ feather stitch, stitches are worked in left and right groups, forming a more intricate band of stitching.