How to do Back Stitch & 2 variations

Back stitch is my favorite stitch for outlining embroidery designs as well as for hand sewing. It is a very simple stitch that doesnot overlap at all like other outline stitches and thus makes a flat stitch which is very attractive. Almost like the stitches made by the sewing machine.

Back stitches can be worked into many variations like whipped back stitch which wraps another thread around the back stitch thread without piercing the cloth. Checkout the stem stitch variations tutorial for more like that. Here I have given the 2 main variations of back stitch and the way to do back stitch.

How to do a back stitch

Back stitch is worked from bottom to top of the design.

Step 1. Bring up the needle one stitch above the end of the design at Point (1).Point 2 is the end of the design. Bring down the needle at the end at Point (2)

back stitch

Step 2


Take up the needle one stitch above the point 1 at point 3

Bring down the needle at point 1 and then come up one stitch distance from Point 3. Continue doing that so that you have a line of stitches which stand apart. 

Split back stitch ( Split stitch)

This is a back stitch which is done in a slightly different manner. As the name suggest you split the stitch to make this one.

When you go back after making a stitch, the previous stitch is pierced as you bring down the needle. This results in a flatter stitch than any other outline stitches like outline stitch, stem stitch as the stitching line does not deviate at all. When worked it looks almost like a chain stitch.
Keep the stitches small and even for a good effect.

Double back stitch

double back stitch

This stitch is also called the reverse herringbone stitch. When you do this stitch a herringbone stitch is automatically created on the back side of the design. This stitch  is  used in shadow work to create the shadow on the back of the cloth. 

Step 1

reverse herringbone stitch

Start one stitch down from the top end  ( on any side of the design) . Bring up the needle there ( 1)

Take it to the top of the design and bring it down ( 2)

Bring up the needle on the opposite side of the design outline one stitch up. ( This will be parallel to the starting point for the first stitch)(3)

Step 2

double back stitch

Take the needle down through  the same hole made at the top of the design (2).

Step 3

double back stitch
Bring the needle back up through the fabric one stitch length away from the first stitch at 5 
Insert the needle at the same hole made by the first stitch – starting point (1)- now 6

Step 4.

double back stitch

Go to the opposite line one stitch up again. Continue in this manner 

A herringbone stitch will be forming on the back side of the fabric.

Related posts : 9 Basic hand sewing stitches.; Hand embroidery stitches