Home » Ladder Stitch – 3 types of this very useful stitch

Ladder Stitch – 3 types of this very useful stitch

Ladder stitch, as its name suggests, looks like a Ladder. It is done in many ways and for different purposes. The three most commonly used Ladder stitches are as outlined below. The first one is a very useful stitch as a blind (invisible) joining stitch and the other two are decorative embroidery stitches.

Invisible Ladder Stitch

The invisible ladder stitch is used for joining two fabric edges very finely and inconspicuously – the ladder stitch looks almost invisible between the fabric edges. 

ladder stitch

The stitches will look like as in the diagram below

Keep the fabric edges together, with the folded edges facing each other.

ladder stitch invisible

Start from one side with the knot on the back. Go to the other fabric edge and take a small vertical stitch on the inside of the fold of the fabric edge.

ladder stitch invisible

And then go to the other fold of fabric to take another stitch, the same way.

ladder stitch

Make more stitches like this, going back and forth, tightening the stitches as you go, so that the gap between is reduced to nothing.

ladder stitch

You can use this stitch to sew tucks in fabric – follow the pictures given below

invisible stitching by hand

invisibly stitch by hand

sew invisibly by hand

Open Chain stitch

ladder stitch

This beautiful and very simple stitch is a variation of the Chain stitch and is also known by names like Ladder Stitch, Roman Chain Stitch, and Square Chain Stitch. It looks really like a ladder and is a favorite stitch for borders. 

This stitch is made between two parallel lines, imaginary or drawn.  I like to draw to be sure that ladder looks straight, not skewed. 



ladder chain stitch

Step 1

Bring up the needle from the back at point A; Create a loop and insert the needle at B on the same level.

Step 2

Bring up the needle at C above A at the same time catching the loop

Step 4

Insert the needle at D again creating a loop, then come up at the same time at a point above C, at E
Repeat the steps to create more loops like this and end with two straight stitches at the end of the chain 

Herringbone Ladder Stitch

ladder herringbone stitch

This is a type of weaving stitch. A herringbone stitch is woven through two parallel back stitch lines. Check out the post on back stitch if you do not know how to make this stitch. It is a beautiful border stitch. You can also use it as a filling stitch



Step 1
We need to stitch two parallel lines first.Draw the lines so that one line is 1/4 inch distant from the other.

ladder herringbone stitch

Stitch the parallel lines with back stitches which are 1/4 inches in length; you can stitch them closer if you want a closer effect.

Ensure that junctions between the stitches are not simultaneous in the two lines.Look at the picture below on how you should be making the back stitches

Step 2

Thread a contrasting coloured thread on your needle. Bring out the needle from the start of the back stitch
Insert the needle under the first stitch from outside. Donot pierce the fabric.Continue to the first stitch on the other side. Make a loop and go to the stitch on the other sideline.

ladder stitch
Step 3
Continue doing this till the whole line is filled with loops of herringbone stitches.

ladder stitch


AUTHOR : Hi, I am Sarina. I am passionate about clothes, sewing, fabrics, fashion and surface design techniques in no particular order and absolutely love writing about all of these including what I learn, what I experience, and what I have bought to do all these. You are more than welcome to stay here and learn with me.

6 thoughts on “Ladder Stitch – 3 types of this very useful stitch”

  1. How do you do an invisible stitch with thin fabric? And does the fabric for the ladder stitch have to be folded on both sides? I still don’t understand how to do it.

    1. Hi Heidi, Yes the fabric have to be folded at the edges for the stitches to be hidden within the folds. You take a stitch along one side then go to the other side, take a stitch and goes on doing this, thus joining the two fabric together.

  2. I am so glad I found this website and I love the ladder stitches those for sure will help me with my scrunchies sewing. I have started to sell scrunchies.

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