Stitching in embroidery means hand sewing. It is the first method used in embroidery when machines are not yet invented. Embroidery stiches are considered the smallest units in embroidery.

As you begin your hobby in embroidery, it is very important to learn the styles of stitching. Start from the very basic style to the most complicated one. The different styles of stitches will make your design more beautiful and more realistic that you can combine, bringing your imagination to life.

As a starter in embroidery let’s know the stiches that is easy to learn.

Running Stitch

Running stitch or also called straight stitch is the most common and most basic style stitch in embroidery. This style of stitch is used in hand-sewing and tailoring to sew basic seams and hems.

Just simply poke the needle in and out of the fabric at a regular distance in a continuous manner.


Back Stitch

Back stitch is commonly used for outlining to add fine detail to an embroidered picture. It is also commonly used for lettering in embroidery. Back stitch is also considered the strongest stitch among the basic stiches.

How to do it:

Push the needle through the fabric and go one stitch forward. Poke the needle back down again. Next, poke the needle up, about one stitch length in front of the first stitch. Pull the needle up and then go back towards the first stitch (i.e., ‘backstitch’) and poke the needle through the end of the previous stitch.



Chain Stitch

Chain stitch is usually use for filling if rows are stitched closely together. This style of stitch is decorative and a stitch that a series of loops joined together to resemble a chain. This type of stitch is commonly used to hem jeans that creates a vivid roping effect.

How to do it:

  1. Bring the needle to the surface at the start of the sewing line. Take it back down close to where it came up, then return it to the surface at the end position of the first stitch
  2. Take the needle back down, close to where it came up through the loop and bring it back up at the end position of the next stitch.
  3. Continue working along the stitching line, repeating the steps to create a chain of links. Finish by catching the final loop with a small stitch to secure.



Cross Stitch

Cross stich is considered the most widely used stitch of all. This type of stitch was used ages ago. It was said that cross stitch was widely used to mark household linens from 18th and 19th century and that time alphabets, animals and birds are the most common inspiration they use.

The stitch is done by creating a line of diagonal stitches going in one direction, usually using the warp and weft of the fabric as a guide, then on the return journey crossing the diagonal in the other direction, creating an "x".


Knotted Stitch

Knotted stitch is usually use in decorative trims. The common knotted stiches are French knots and coral stitch.

Knotted stitch is formed by wrapping the thread around itself in different ways.

French knot are usually use to fill, like flower centers or any tiny powdered patterns that needs the effect of a single dot.

How to make a French knot?

  1. If you’re filling an area with french knots, lay the hoop on a table top so you have both hands free. Bring the needle up through the fabric to the front. Pull the thread taut with one hand and hold the needle under the thread with the other.
  2. Using the hand holding the thread, twist it around the needle twice.
  3. Now comes the tricky part. While keeping a tight grasp on the thread in one hand, with the other hand push the needle down through the fabric right next to where you came out. Don’t put it back in the same hole or you might risk pulling the knot all the way through.
  4. As you push the needle down, keep holding the thread in your other hand.



Coral Stitch is worked in rows rather than individual stitched. Coral stitch is commonly use to form textured straight or curved lines and outlines.

How to make a coral knot?

  • Work Coral stitch from right to left. To work it, bring the thread up from the back of the fabric and hold it loosely on the surface of the fabric with your thumb.
  • Insert the needle at a slight right angle, above your working line.  Bring it out just below the line, and wrap the thread under the needle as illustrated.
  • Pull the needle through the fabric to form a knot.
  • Continue in this manner along the line.



These stitches are just some of the commonly used stitches in embroidery. These are just the basic ones. The style of stitches in embroidery have a very wide range of styles depending on the use. The more stitch you know, the more complex designs you can make. It may seem hard to do but you are just starting your embroidery journey, so just practice and practice. I assure it all be worth it!!