Background Hand embroidery stitches (create 10 beautiful textures)

These are embroidery stitches that can be used to fill the background - a list of some nice hand embroidery stitches to cover fabric surface

embroidery for background fabric.

Have you seen those embroidered ethnic bags with all-over embroidery? I had wanted to make one for a long time and was looking out for ways to do embroidery on the fabric. I meant to make this kind of bag- which is when I discovered these background stitches. 

I decided to do one of these stitches on the fabric as an all-over design, and it just transformed the fabric. No need to go and find any particular design to embroider; work these background hand embroidery stitches, and your previously plain fabric will still turn spectacular with embroidery.

Embroidery is the epitome of fabric texture.  The fabric fully covered with these stitches can look very textured and very embroidered. But they are simple and easy to do as well.

Imagine creating your own patterned fabric for your next project -I intend to use this not just for the bag,  but for many things like the yoke of a dress, for making patch pockets on plain dresses, to decorating trims etc.

textured stitches

Background embroidery stitches

Windmill stitches

textured background hand embroidery stitches
Windmill stitch

This is one simple stitch. Make upright cross stitches all over the space. Make one smaller cross stitch or more in the middle in the same color for a unifying effect or in a contrasting color for a vivid look. 

haand embroidery stitches with texture
Make crossed stitches
make texture with embroidery stitch
Make cross stitches over the background stitches

Brick stitches

brick stitch
Brick stitches

A brick stitch is done by making one or more straight stitches in  a row and stitching the next row so that it is laid in a bricklaying fashion

brick stitch
Make double straight stitches

Jacobean trellis

jacoban trellis
Jacobean trellis stitches

This stitch uses the upright cross stitch or simple straight stitches taken horizontally and vertically across the space and then tied down at the intersection with small cross stitches (like a couching stitch). 

Double cross stitches

textured background hand embroidery stitches
Double cross stitch

Simple cross stitches make very good background embroidery. When you add one more element (an upright stitch across twice), and make it a double cross stitch it is even more stunning, filling the whole fabric.

This is usually used on gingham fabric. Check out the post on chicken scratch embroidery for these beautiful background stitches.

chicken scratch embroidery

Check out the 10 different types of variations of the simple cross stitch

textured background hand embroidery stitches

Sheaf stitch

sheaf stitch
Sheaf stitches

This stitch consists of vertical straight stitches made inside the space and then they have tied down three straight stitches together with overcasting stitches.

sheaf stitch
Make upright straight stitches

Running stitches

running stitch

Simple running stitches made all over the fabric are a beautiful way to add texture to the fabric’s surface. In fact, it is a technique that has been practiced in many countries for a long, long time – in India, this is known as Kantha work and in Japan, Sashiko embroidery.

kantha work
Kantha embroidered fabric

Cross stitch – variation

textured background hand embroidery stitches

Two Overcasting stitches are made at the intersection of the cross stitch.

textured background hand embroidery stitches

Woven filling stitch

textured background hand embroidery stitches

I found this stitch from the beautiful blog – she does a beautiful job of it. Mine needs a lot more practice. I guess, the difference between the expert and all that.

textured background hand embroidery stitches

This stitch involves making straight stitches and then weaving among this thread with another thread. The needle does not penetrate the fabric when you weave with the second thread other than when you first anchor the needle.

You should preferably use tapestry needle with a blunt tip for weaving through the straight stitch threads.

Florentine stitches

textured background hand embroidery stitches

This is a needlepoint embroidery stitch commonly used to fill large areas in a wave-like stitch. When it is done all over the fabric, one stitch nested inside the other, the effect is nothing short of stunning.

You can vary the effect of this stitch by changing the number of stitches, the number of threads, or the color of the thread used.

Surface satin stitches

textured background hand embroidery stitches

This embroidery stitch gives the effect of satin stitches on the face of the fabric, but the technique of working with this embroider is different than the usual satin stitches.

textured background hand embroidery stitches

This technique is used to make all-over satin embroidery stitches on the fabric without the bulkiness on the backside. Instead of straight stitches, you will make only running stitches along the periphery of the designs. This embroidery work is called phulkari in India and is used to work all over yards of fabrics with colorful patterns.

Check out the post on phulkari embroidery work for more details

Related posts: Needle point embroidery stitches – Needlepoint embroidery is full of such background embroidery stitches; Check out the post on fabric texture for some easy ideas to create texture with simple sewing machine stitches.

Related posts : How to hand embroider letters; Embroidery filling stitches

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

10 thoughts on “Background Hand embroidery stitches (create 10 beautiful textures)”

  1. Thank you for creating these posts. I have been looking for sites like these for a while. Am finding your explanations very simple and helpful.
    Great work.

  2. I am a pre school teacher and my fevarit hobby is tailoring and emmbroidering cloth my free time. I thanks you lot for this u nlimited help. I like you for this .thanks!
    I am ursula .

  3. I’m Junu…I am girl of class 10 and it’s my hobby to stitch …I like to do this.. the patterns was really helpful ..Thank you..
    : )…

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