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Five Basic Hand Embroidery Stitches for Beginners

Five Basic Hand Embroidery Stitches for Beginners

From creating intricate designs to adding personalized touches to your fabrics, embroidery allows you to turn ordinary threads into masterpieces. The first step to becoming an expert at hand embroidery is to understand the basics, and we are here to help you with just that. This guide will introduce you to five basic hand embroidery stitches every beginner should know.

Good to Know: Before diving into the techniques, make sure you have all your necessary supplies, including beautiful colors of cotton embroidery floss for a colorful outcome. Let's get started!


1. The Split Stitch

This stitch creates a solid line with a unique braided texture. It is an excellent option for outlining text and filling in designs.

  1. Start by pulling your needle and thread up through the fabric.
  2. Create one straight stitch.
  3. Bring the needle up through the center of the stitch you just made.
  4. Stitch forward the same length as your initial stitch.
  5. Repeat by bringing the needle up through the center of each stitch.

2. The Back Stitch

If you need a strong, unbroken line - say for hand-embroidered letters or outlines - the back stitch is your go-to.

  1. Begin by pulling the needle and thread up through the fabric and make one stitch forward.
  2. From underneath, space the needle out the length of your desired stitch, pull up through the fabric.
  3. Bring the needle and thread back down through the end of the previous stitch.

3. The Stem Stitch

Perfect for anything that requires a curvy appearance, like flower stems and vines.

  1. Start similarly to the split stitch - create one straight stitch forward.
  2. Bring the needle and thread up underneath the fabric.
  3. Instead of going through the center of your initial stitch, go just to the side of the stitch.

4. The Running Stitch

A quick way to outline a design, the running stitch can be achieved through two methods: the sewing method and the stabbing method.

  • Sewing Method: Weave the needle and thread through the fabric in one continuous motion, creating several stitches at once.
  • Stabbing Method: Push the needle through the fabric to the back, then poke it through to the front a short distance away, creating one stitch at a time.

5. The Satin Stitch

This stitch adds a smooth, raised texture to your design. Ideal for creating hearts or filling in leaves.

  1. You might want to draw out the shape you want to fill as a guide.
  2. Create one stitch that extends from one end of the shape to the other.
  3. Bring the needle up again just next to the opposite side of the initial stitch.
  4. Keep the stitches close to each other to fill the pattern or design.

Master these stitches, and you'll be ready to explore and create beautiful embroidered pieces. Remember, practice is key. As with any craft, the more you work on it, the better you'll get.

hand embroidery tea towel


Embroidery allows you to create stunning designs with just a needle and some threads. It may seem complex at first, but with a bit of practice, you'll get the hang of it. Take your time, enjoy the process, and don't forget to experiment with different colors and threads to add variety to your work. Check out our embroidery floss collection at Thread Art for a wide range of high-quality threads to get you started on your embroidery journey. Happy stitching!


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