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  • Writer's pictureMaggie Thompson

Exploring Different Embroidery Stitch Types: A Comprehensive Guide

Embroidery is a timeless craft that has been practised for centuries across various cultures. The beauty of embroidery lies in its diversity, with a wide range of stitch types that can be used to create intricate and eye-catching designs. Today, we will explore different embroidery stitch types and provide detailed instructions for mastering each technique.


Basic Embroidery Stitches

Running Stitch

The running stitch is one of the simplest and most versatile embroidery stitches. It is often used for outlining designs or creating simple decorative patterns.

  1. Begin by bringing the needle up through the fabric from the back.

  2. Insert the needle back down into the fabric, leaving a small gap between the starting point and where the needle re-enters.

  3. Continue stitching in a straight line, maintaining consistent spacing between the stitches.

Backstitch

The backstitch is ideal for creating strong, solid lines and can be used for outlining or adding detail to a design.

  1. Bring the needle up through the fabric from the back, and then insert the needle back down into the fabric a short distance away.

  2. Bring the needle back up through the fabric, in line with the first stitch.

  3. Insert the needle back down into the fabric at the end of the previous stitch, forming a continuous line.

Satin Stitch

The satin stitch is used to fill in shapes with a smooth, even texture. It is perfect for creating a polished, professional appearance.

  1. Outline the shape you wish to fill with a running stitch or backstitch.

  2. Bring the needle up through the fabric at one edge of the shape.

  3. Insert the needle back down on the opposite edge, filling the shape with long, parallel stitches.

  4. Continue stitching until the entire shape is filled, keeping the stitches close together for a smooth finish.



Decorative Embroidery Stitches

Chain Stitch

The chain stitch creates a looped, chain-like appearance, making it ideal for outlining and creating decorative borders.

  1. Bring the needle up through the fabric from the back.

  2. Insert the needle back down into the fabric at the same point, leaving a small loop of thread on the surface.

  3. Bring the needle back up through the fabric inside the loop, and then insert the needle back down to create another loop.

  4. Continue this process, ensuring that each loop is of a consistent size and shape.

French Knot

The French knot adds texture and dimension to embroidery designs, often used for accents or to create a clustered effect.

  1. Bring the needle up through the fabric from the back.

  2. Wrap the thread around the needle two or three times.

  3. Hold the wrapped thread taut, and then insert the needle back down into the fabric close to the initial entry point.

  4. Gently pull the thread through the fabric, ensuring that the wrapped knot remains in place.

Lazy Daisy Stitch

The lazy daisy stitch is perfect for creating delicate, petal-like shapes, often used for flowers and other organic designs.

  1. Bring the needle up through the fabric from the back, and then insert the needle back down at the same point, leaving a small loop of thread on the surface.

  2. Bring the needle back up through the fabric within the loop, and then insert the needle back down outside the loop to anchor the petal in place.

  3. Repeat this process to create additional petals, adjusting the size and shape as desired.



Advanced Embroidery Stitches

Long and Short Stitch

The long and short stitch is used for shading and blending colours, creating a smooth, gradient effect.

  1. Begin by outlining the area you wish to shade with a running stitch or back stitch.

  2. 2. Fill the outline with alternating long and short stitches, starting with the lightest shade of thread.

  3. Gradually transition to darker shades of thread as you continue filling the shape, blending the colours by overlapping the long and short stitches.

  4. Maintain consistent spacing and tension to create a smooth, even appearance.

Bullion Knot

The bullion knot creates a raised, textured effect, often used for adding dimension to floral designs and other intricate patterns.

  1. Bring the needle up through the fabric from the back.

  2. Insert the needle back down a short distance away from the initial entry point, leaving a loop of thread on the surface.

  3. Bring the needle back up through the fabric within the loop, and then wrap the thread around the needle several times.

  4. Hold the wrapped thread taut, and then carefully pull the needle and thread through the wraps.

  5. Insert the needle back down into the fabric to anchor the bullion knot in place.

Herringbone Stitch

The herringbone stitch creates a zigzag pattern, ideal for decorative borders and edging.

  1. Bring the needle up through the fabric from the back at the bottom left corner of the area to be stitched.

  2. Insert the needle back down at the top right corner, creating a diagonal stitch.

  3. Bring the needle back up through the fabric directly below the first stitch, and then insert the needle back down at the top left corner, forming an overlapping "X" shape.

  4. Continue stitching in this manner, creating a series of interconnected "X" shapes that form the herringbone pattern.


Mastering Various Embroidery Stitches

Embroidery is a versatile and rewarding craft that allows you to create intricate designs using a wide variety of stitch types. By learning and practising these different techniques, you can elevate your embroidery projects and develop a more comprehensive understanding of the art form. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced embroiderer, exploring different embroidery stitch types is an essential step in honing your skills and unlocking your creative potential.


Commercial Embroidery strives to provide comprehensive resources and guidance for all aspects of embroidery. Delve into our extensive collection of articles, covering topics such as starting and scaling your embroidery business, essential embroidery supplied for your business, and how to price your embroidery services. Our aim is to support your creative endeavours, whether you're a business owner, fashion designer, or DIY enthusiast. Explore the wealth of information available on CommercialEmbroidery.co.uk, and unlock your embroidery potential today.




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