16 Different Types Of Embroidery Stitches

Types Of Embroidery Stitches

The ones who master the art of embroidery begin with some stitching style or the other. There are over three hundred stitches known; however, one doesn’t have to learn all of them. This article will describe and instruct our readers about the basic types of embroidery stitches they can learn to create beautiful projects. That’s not it, there’s more! Any of the following embroidery stitches by themselves do not make an embroidery design. You’ll need to know how to use the following embroidery stitches to create an embroidery design. Here are different statin stitches, Feather Stitches styles for you, and many more yet to come.

The embroidery stitches included in this article have been around for centuries, yet their popularity and relevance have seldom seemed to cease. Most of the stitches that we will discuss will mold the basics of embroidery knowledge, while the others create very traditional and beautiful patterns. 

Let’s start with running stitch…

1. Running Stitch

One of the quick ways to outline a design while doing embroidery is opting for the Running Stitch. There are two ways to create a running stitch. 

Steps to create Running Stitch in the first way:

  • Weave the needle with the thread/floss 
  • Floss through the fabric in a single continuous motion 

This results in several stitches at once, and it looks similar to sewing a seam.

Steps to create Running Stitch in the second way- Stabbing method or the Punch and Poke method:

  • As the name of this process suggests, one has to push the needle through the fabric. 
  • Then, poke the needle to the front from the back at a short distance away and repeat.

This leads to creating one stitch at a time.

2. Chain Stitch

The chain stitch might look a little intimidating to beginners, but we can assure you that it is going to take only a few seconds to create it with some practice. This is another excellent stitch for outlining a design or for making a frame on the fabric. A row of linked stitches is formed using the chain stitch, and the patterns created using this stitching style really stand out.

A skilled individual keeps some embroidery tricks up their sleeves, and one of them is the chain stitch in both forward and reverse methods. Once you are confident about one way of creating the chain stitch, you can also opt for learning the several other ways of making it.

Steps to create Chain Stitch:

  • Start your stitch by pushing your threaded needle from below the fabric and bring up the thread. 
  • Then insert the needle again at the first point, but do not push it down ultimately, as you need to leave the thread on top to form a loop. 
  • Now, push your needle from the first point on the rear side to a second point at the desired distance through the loop you made with the thread. 
  • Gently, pull the threaded needle up, and you will observe a chain being formed. However, do not tightly pull the floss. Instead, leave it a little loose to form the chain. 
  • Continue the chain by beginning the next stitch from the point you left the last one. 

3. Back Stitch

Backstitch is probably the type of embroidery stitch that you are most likely to use. This stitch is fundamental and relatively easy to learn. Backstitch helps outline designs, and it is one such type of embroidery stitch that pairs well with other stitching types.

Also, because of the weaving or wrapping nature of the backstitch, it is easy for one to embellish the fabric using this stitch. One can also transform the backstitch into the more decorative Pekinese stitch. These are what make backstitch an essential type of stitch to learn by one.

Steps to create Back Stitch:

  • Push down the threaded needle (through the fabric), and then bring it up through a second point about 6mm away and pull the thread just like running stitch. 
  • Insert the needle down from the exact first point as from where you started, and then bring your needle (with floss) back up through the fabric from a distance through a new point. 
  • Lastly, pull the needle through to reveal the first backstitch you created, and then you can repeat these steps to create a backstitch all the way along the seam of your fabric.  

4. Detached Chain Stitch

The Detached Chain Stitch is also commonly referred to as the Single Chain Stitch. This type of embroidery stitch is perfect for making leaves or flower designs like a lazy daisy. One must know how to create this basic yet beautiful embroidery pattern for making beautiful designs using it. Usually, sewing the Detached Chain Stitch is similar to the fundamental chain stitch, except it is only with one link.

Steps to create Detached Chain Stitch:

  • Start by inserting the needle with the floss from below the fabric. 
  • Then insert the needle from the first point to the next point of the desired distance from above, all the while keeping the floss underneath the needle. 
  • After that, you have to pull the needle up along with the floss gently, but be careful so that you don’t tighten it much. 
  • Then, you have to push the needle outside the loop you made from the third point and take down the floss. 
  • After that again, bring up the needle from the desired distance to make the second petal and keep repeating all the steps mentioned above to create a beautiful lazy daisy with the detached stitches.

5. French Knot Stitch

Even though it might seem that making French Knot Stitch is complicated, but we can assure you it is pretty simple. The size of this stitch varies depending on the number of times one wraps the floss around the needle, which ranges from anywhere between one to three turns.

Steps to create French Knot Stitch:

  • Draw the needle through the fabric to the top along with the thread. 
  • Then you have to wrap the thread around the needle twice and bring the needle down just next to where it poked first, all the while holding the end of the thread taut.
  • One must keep holding down the floss taut while the needle is pulling through to create a beautiful French knot stitch.

6. Stem Stitch

Just as the name of this stitch suggests, it is mainly used for making the veins and stems of flowers. However, the stem stitch can be used for several parts of the design that requires some curve. 

Steps to create Stem Stitch:

  • Start by creating a straightforward stitch
  • Then bring your needle along with the thread back up from under the fabric, from the side of the initial stitch.

The stem stitch is another very easy to do embroidery stitch to learn and for creating beautiful designs.

7. Split Stitch

The split stitch is made very similar to the stem stitch, the only difference here being that the needle and the floss need to be brought back up from underneath the fabric, from the center of the initial forward stitch made by you before.

A split stitch is a good option for creating a solid line in your design. And the unique braided texture of the split stitch makes your embroidery look even more beautiful and neat.  

Steps to create Split Stitch:

  • Bring up your threaded needle from underneath the fabric from a certain point. 
  • You have to push your needle down through the fabric at a short distance away from the first point. 
  • Now, from a third point located in the middle of the existing stitch, bring up your needle again, and you will be done with the first split stitch.
  • The next stitch begins from the third point of the last stitch, i.e., in a split stitch chain, the last point of a split stitch is the first or starting point of the following split stitch.   

8. Satin Stitch

Need to fill in the space of your embroidery design? The best type of embroidery stitch that you can choose is the satin stitch. This stitch is very easy to create and helps one to cover certain parts of the design like a leaf, and after completion, it gives the design (in this case, a leaf) a very shiny, satin-like appearance.

All one has to do to cover their design using satin stitch is make a series of straight stitches, very close next to each other, while remaining inside the border of the target area of the design. The secret to filling your fabric with beautiful satin stitches is nothing but sheer practice.

Steps to create Satin Stitch:

  • You have to push your needle from below the fabric from a certain point in the border (desired starting point) and pull up the thread in a design. 
  • Then insert the needle at the desired distance away from the first point. 
  • Follow this by piercing again from underneath the fabric at a point just next to your first point. Ensure the stitches are made close to each other so that no gap is left between them.  
  • Again, bring up the thread and keep repeating all the points making several layers of thread that layover the fabric. 

9. Feather Stitch

The feather stitch is a simple linked type of stitch that forms open lines which seem to the observer as if moving. The feather stitch is suitable for stitching designs like seaweed, feathers, foliage, scales, etc. The feather stitch also works well with other stitches when layered, and designers also use it as borders or frames.  

Steps to create Feather Stitch:

  • Bring the needle up from underneath the fabric you are using and then go back down from a second point at a distance, but do not pull down the thread tight. 
  • Come back up from below the fabric from a third point located between the first two at the center and catch the loop of floss made earlier using your needle.
  • Pulling onto the needle will tighten the first stitch, and then after a short distance to the side, you can go back down through the fabric again.  
  • Then repeat the steps of making a new loop and tightening it from the new center point to create the beautiful feather stitch. 

10. Bullion Knot

The last but not the least type of embroidery stitch that we are discussing in this article is a little advance to the rest. However, the bullion knot is too good a stitch to be left out of learning. It is easier for beginners to remember bullion knots as an extended version of the French knot. 

Steps to create Bullion Knot:

  • Thread your needle and start by bringing it up from below the fabric 
  • Next to the initial point of stitch, insert the needle to a new point, but don’t push it down. Instead, push the needle through the first point.
  • Hold your needle and wrap the floss around it at least six or seven times
  • Make sure the knots are neither too loose nor too tight. 
  • Hold the loops and between your finger and pull the needle and thread along with it. 
  • Lastly, insert the needle down the fabric through the second point you made earlier. 

Once you are confident about making bullion knots, you can use this stitch to create beautiful designs on your fabric like roses, daisies, flower buds, etc.

Some More Common Types Of Embroidery Stitches:

11. Fly Stitch

The Fly Stitch, also known as the ‘Open Loop Stitch’ or the ‘Y Stitch,’ is another common type of embroidery stitch incorporated in many designs. 

Steps to create the Fly Stitch:

  1. First, you have to bring up the needle from below the fabric you are using and then push it back down on another point on top of the first point, located at the desired length away from it. 
  2. You should not pull down the thread. All you require to do is hold the needle and bring it back up from a third point, all the while keeping the floss under your needle. 
  3. Bring your needle over the thread and then take it back down at a fourth point.
  4. Lastly, you can pull the floss down and continue to repeat the discussed steps for the rest of your fabric design. 

12. Woven Wheel Stitch

The Woven Wheel stitch, which is also commonly referred to as the ‘Woven Spider Web Stitch,’ is a very fascinating and decorative stitch that one can learn to make themselves. 

Steps to create the Woven Wheel Stitch:

  1. Start the pattern by making an odd number of evenly distributed straight stitches.
  2. Then bring the needle up at one point and down at a second point
  3. Bring the needle up again from a nearby third point
  4. Make sure to weave the thread under and over the straight stitches in a circular pattern
  5. Continue to create this pattern until all the straight stitches are entirely covered. 

13. Couching Stitch

For this stitch, you need to thread two different needles with two different or same colored threads. The couching stitch is perfect for making your design more vibrant. This type of stitch is ideal for providing some dimension and distinctness to the outline of your design. 

Steps to create the Coughing Stitch:

  1. Start the stitch by placing the couching floss of the first needle over the border of your design. 
  2. Then, bring the second needle with a knotted thread and make a stitch over the couching thread. Make sure to move your coaching floss a little to prevent them from getting snagged with the needle. 
  3. Continue working, making several stitches along the couching thread at even intervals of your desired length, and all the while, hold onto the couching floss firmly. 
  4. Once the border is complete, and you have to take the starting ends from underneath your fabric using a needle. You will need to repeat the stitching process for your finishing threads as well. 

14. Blanket Stitch

Another standard embroidery stitch that one shouldn’t miss out on learning is the simple and effortless Blanket Stitch. 

Steps to create the Blanket Stitch:

  1. Start your stitch by passing the needle through one of the layers of the fabric or felt so that it hides the knot of the thread. 
  2. Loop the thread over the top of the seam and then pass your needle through the other piece of felt such that it can line up with the knot. 
  3. After that, pass the needle and floss under the first stitch so that it lies on the inside of your stitch. 
  4. Once you are done, loop the thread around the first stitch, and this shall allow you to move cleanly onto the next blanket stitch.

15. Seed Stitch

The Seed Stitch is also commonly called the ‘Rice Stitch,’ and it visually looks very similar to that of Darning Stitch. Many have found the pattern created by it reminds them of strawberry seeds. The Seed Stitch will come in very handy for filling in different parts of your fabric design. 

Steps to create the Seed Stitch:

  1. Firstly, bring your needle with floss from below the fabric to the top at a point. 
  2. Then, you have to push down your needle into a second point on the design at a short distance from the first. You can opt for any desired short distance, but 1/8 inches to 1/4 inches looks ideal.  
  3. Now repeat the first two steps and maintain the single direction to fill in your entire design. The seed stitch will be shorter on the top of the fabric and longer stitches on the back of the fabric.

16. Herringbone Stitch

This stitch looks like a row of interlaced bones of fish, and it is pretty helpful for effortlessly filling empty spaces of your design. The Herringbone Stitch pattern is commonly used to decorate the quilt’s seams because this type of embroidery stitch is quite versatile in nature.  

Steps to create the Herringbone Stitch:

  1. Begin the stitch by bringing up your floss with a needle out of a point from beneath the fabric. 
  2. Then pull up the floss and push your needle into another point at a certain distance, but do not pull down the thread. 
  3. Instead, you will have to push the needle from the second point through the fabric into a third point. And then you can pull your floss up. 
  4. Now cross the original stitch made and diagonally insert the needle at a fourth point and bring it back up from a new point next to the last (locate the new point between the first and last point you used in this stitch).
  5. Repeat the steps in a similar fashion to be left with a crisscross pattern.


Once an individual gets comfortable creating the basic types of embroidery stitches that we have discussed in this article, you will soon start enjoying working on various projects involving various types of stitches. All you now have to do is pick up your tools and be creative. Happy stitching!



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