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| This stitch is best for: Outlines

The backstitch is a simple and versatile stitch that is perfect for outlining, adding details and creating straight lines in hand embroidery. It is a great stitch to learn for beginners, as it is easy to master and can be used in a variety of projects such as wall hangings, clothing embellishments, and handbags.

How to do the Back Stitch

  1. Start the stitch: Bring your needle up through the fabric at the starting point of your line. This will be your first stitch.
  2. Stitch backward: Insert the needle back into the fabric approximately 1/4 inch (0.6 cm) away from the starting point.
  3. Stitch forward: Next, bring the needle up through the fabric where you want your next stitch to begin, approximately 1/4 inch (0.6 cm) ahead of the end point of your previous stitch. Bring the needle back into the fabric close to the end of the previous stitch.
  4. Repeat: Continue stitching in this way (Steps 2-3), always taking the needle backward one stitch length and bringing it forward again one stitch length ahead.
  5. End the stitch: When you have completed your line or design, finish your last stitch by bringing the needle back down through the fabric and tying a knot at the end of the thread.


  • Practice on a scrap piece of fabric before starting your project to get a feel for the stitch.
  • Keep your stitches even in length for a neat and tidy appearance.
  • Always use a thimble to push the needle through the fabric to protect your fingers.
  • Use a hoop or frame to keep the fabric taut while stitching to prevent puckering.
  • Choose the right number of strands for your project to ensure that the stitches show up with the thickness you need for your design.
  • If you find it hard to keep the stitches even, add evenly spaced dots along the line you will be stitching and bring your needle in and out through those dots. Remember: the more you practice the easier it will be!