5 Basic Embroidery Stitches

Welcome back to the Thread & Fold blog where, each week, we share our exciting updates, latest handmade embroidery kits and offer insights into our passion and business. As we continue to expand our business we want to share our advice and knowledge with our readers. In today’s blog we offer our top tips for how to do the five most basic stitches in embroidery.

Back Stitch 

The back stitchWhat is a back stitch? A back stitch is a simple and elegant stitch and, perhaps, the easiest to master! To make a backstitch start with a single straight stitch of around 1-3cm. Carry along the line of the pattern but, instead of bringing the needle up immediately, come up a space ahead and bring the needle back into the same hole as the last stitch.  A backstitch is, quire literally stitching back into the end of the last stitch made and creates a wonderfully today, clean line. The stitch itself is useful to create angular corners and adds texture and depth. 

Running Stitch

How to make a running stitchThe Running Stitch is probably the most simple, and important, stitch in embroidery. Also known as the Straight Stitch, the Running Stitch Running is the master stitch in which all other stitches are based. The stitch works by passing the needle through the fabric at regular distances or intervals. Often used next to seams, Running Stitches are often not visible in a finished embroidery. 

Stem Stitch

The Stem Stitch is also known as the crewel stitch, point de cable or stalk stitch and a technique used within embroidery to create a cabled, rope like effect along the line of an embroidery design. The Stem Stitch is often used in surface and freeform embroidery and creates a line that can be used to outline embroidery shapes such as the stem of a flower or plant. What is wonderful about the Stem Stitch is that it makes it easy to work in a straight or curved line and can be used in a huge array of designs. The Stem Stitch is created in an almost Z-like pattern in which the stem stitch overlaps in a Z-direction, while the outline stitch overlaps in an S-direction. 

Fly Stitch

How to make a fly stitchThe fly stitch is a gorgeous stitch that can be used to creative elegant repetition and add texture and contrast to a design. As the name suggests, the fly stitch looks like a fly! It is also known as Y Stitch or an Open Loop Stitch. The fly stitch is an economic stitch and is useful for creating cleaner lines without the need for as many stitches. To create a fly stitch, bring the needle up through the fabric and then down a short distance away , leaving a loop on the surface of the fabric before bringing the needle back through the middle of the loop that you have created. Simply pull the thread until the loop becomes taught and voila! A fly stitch!

Star Stitch

how to make a star stitchOne of our favourites, the Star Stitch, also known as a Twinkle Stitch, is a beautiful way of creating straight lined stars -  a beautiful addition to an embroidery and it can be used as an elegant counterpoint to rounded lined and oval shapes. It’s also great to add more detail and can be used to fill empty spaces. A mixture of both vertical and horizontal lines, the Star Stitch is first made by creating a plus before an X is made that runs through the plus.


What are your favourite stitches? What stitches would you like us to cover? Comment below and let us know. 


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