CHAIN STITCH & its 12 Beautiful variations {Embroidery Stitching Tutorials}

Chain Stitch

chain stitch

Chain stitch, which is one of most frequently used embroidery stitch is also known by names like Tambour stitch and Point de chainette.
It is at once an outline stitch as well as a filling stitch.

You can use any type of embroidery thread to work this stitch.The main considerations are the size of the stitch and the weight of the fabric.
Keep the stitches identical in size. There are many different ways that you can use this stitch as a base to create other stitch styles, as given below

How to make a Chain stitch

Step 1.chain stitch

The stitch is worked from below to upwards. Bring up the needle at the start of the line.
Step 2.
Put the needle back in the same hole it just came through; bring it up a small distance above it. Keep the thread under the needle when bringing up so that a loop is formed.
Remember to pull the needle gently.
Step 3.
Repeat making this stitches, always making sure that you are inserting the needle into same hole from which the needle came up previously.

1. Chequered Chain stitch

This chain stitch is made by using two threads of different and mostly contrasting colours. 

chequered chain stitch

2. Open Chain Stitch

( Ladder Stitch, Roman Chain Stitch and Square Chain Stitch)


3. Cable chain stitch

cable chain stitch

This stitch as the name suggests has a small cable connection between the loops formed by twisting of thread in between the chain stitches. When finished it looks a replica of a cable chain.

Learn how to do a cable chain stitch here


chain cable

4. Chain Stitch ( Detached )

This stitch is also known by the names Lazy Daisy stitch or Daisy stitch.This is a standalone chain stitch.

detached chain stitch

5.Whipped chain stitch

This is used as an outline stitch where you want a bold and thick line.Whipped stitches are made on the chain stitched line. The whipped stitches can be done with a more thicker thread than used for the chain stitch loop.

whipped chain stitch3

You can make different versions of this stitch like where you make two whipping stitches in the same loop in opposite directions so that the line is more thicker.whipped chain stitch

Step 1
Make a line of chain stitches
Step 2
Whip over this line with a same colour thread or a different colour thread with a thicker and blunt needle ( donot pierce the fabric when doing the whip stitches, just go under and over the thread). Make sure that the whip stitches are at the junction of each chain stitch.

6. Chain stitch – Back stitched

back stitched chain stitch

This stitch is used when you need a thick outline. A line of bck stitch is done in the middle of the chain stitch with a same coloured or contratsting thread.
Step 1.
Make a line of chain stitches
Step 2.
Make a line of back stitch from right to left along the center of the loops.

back stitched chain stitch

7. Twisted Chain stitch

The chain stitches are done to the left side of the stitching line which gives this line an attractive appearance.The stitches are made consistently small which make this textured looking.
This stitch is always worked downwards

Step 1.

Insert needle in the stitching line and bring out the needle slightly to the right in front ( not on the stitching line). Keep the thread on the left side of the needle


Step 2.

Wrap the thread on needle from left to right, from under the needle.Continue making chain stitch downwards, left side to the stitching line as in the picture. 

When you continue doing this, a twist is formed on the stitching line which looks very attractive.


8.Heavy Braid chain stitch

This gives you a very thick outline stitch

Step 1
Make a small straight stitch

Step 2.
Bring the needle back through the fabric a little further down the line.

heavy-braid4-compressor  heavy-braid-compressor

Step 3.
Now make a chain stitch loop by taking the needle under the straight stitch and bring the needle down at the starting hole.

Make similar stitches downwards, the needle going under the previous stitch subsequently, till you get a long line of thick stitching line.heavy-braid-chain-stitch

9. Chain Stitch ( Zig Zag)

zig zag chain stitch

In this stitch , chain stitches are made up and down alternatively. When you finish the line you will get a nice zig zag line. Chain stitches are made up and down alternatively.

zig zag chain stitch

10. Chained Feather Stitch

chained feather stitch

This stitch consists of detached chain stitches made along with straight stitches in a zig zag manner like a feather stitch.

Mark parallel vertical lines to place the detached chain stitches

Start with making the detached chain stitches and connect them with straight stitches.

11. Chain stitch ( Double)

This is a beautiful border design stitch . Two triangles are made adjacent to each other within two parallel lines to work this stitch.

double chain stitch

12. Chain Stitch ( Filling )

Chain stitch can be used to fill a design beautifully. Start stitching the outline of the design. Make a very neat outline and you are almost set for a beautiful work. Then fill in chain stitches following the outline.  A beautiful effect can be achieved by using variegated embroidery floss

chain-stitch-01-compressor (1)

13. Russian Chain Stitch

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