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Chain Stitch

| This stitch is best for: Filling in or creating textures in designs

The chain stitch is a classic embroidery stitch that creates a series of looped stitches. It is a versatile stitch that can be used for outlining, filling in areas, and creating textural effects.

How to do the Chain Stitch

  1. Start the stitch: Bring your needle up through the fabric at the starting point of your design.
  2. Create the first loop: Reinsert the needle back into the fabric through the same hole but leave a short length of thread behind so that will form a loop.
  3. Form the chain: Bring the needle back up through the fabric a distance away from the previous point (about 1/8 inch or 0.3 cm). This distance will be how long you want your chain to be. Wrap your loop (working thread) behind the needle and pull the needle through the loop.
  4. Continue the chain: Reinsert the needle back into the fabric through the same hole to form another loop and bring the needle up again a the same distance away. Repeat the process of wrapping the loop (working thread) behind the needle and pulling it through the loop to create a new chain stitch. Continue stitching in this way, creating a series of looped stitches that form a chain.
  5. End the stitch: When you have completed your design, finish your last stitch by bringing the needle back down, this time behind the last chain to lock the chain in place and tie a knot at the end of the thread. Cut the excess thread.


  • Practice on a scrap piece of fabric before starting your project to get a feel for the stitch.
  • Keep your chains evenly spaced for a smooth appearance.
  • Keep the thread tension even and light to create a consistent looking chain. Experiment with different tension to create different chain widths. The lighter the tension when you tighten the loop, the wider your chains will be.
  • Use a hoop or frame to keep the fabric taut while stitching to prevent puckering and avoid pulling the thread too tightly as this can cause puckering or the chains to appear distorted.