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Split Stitch

| This stitch is best for: Outline or filling in a design

The Split Stitch is a versatile hand embroidery stitch that can be used for outlines, filling areas, and adding texture to your embroidery designs. It creates a thin, smooth line that is perfect for delicate details.

How to do the Split Stitch

  1. Start the stitch: Bring your needle up through the fabric at the starting point for your stitch. Hold the thread down with your non-dominant hand.
  2. Stitch forward: Insert the needle back into the fabric a short distance away (about 1/8 inch or 0.3 cm), making sure the thread is held down with your non-dominant hand.
  3. Stitch backward: Bring the needle up through the fabric halfway between the starting and ending point of the stitch. The easiest way to do this is to split the thread in half and bringing up your needle through the loop you made by splitting the thread in half.
  4. Repeat: Continue stitching in this way, alternating between steps 2 and 3. Each stitch should split the previous stitch in half, creating a chain-like effect.
  5. End the stitch: Once you have completed your desired length of stitching, bring the needle to the back of the fabric and tie off the thread.


  • Practice on scrap fabric before starting on your actual project.
  • To make your lines thicker, use a larger number of strands of embroidery floss or thread. It’s easier to split if you use even-numbered thread.
  • If you want to fill an area with the Split Stitch, simply continue stitching parallel lines next to each other until the area is filled.