Learn How to Make Embroidery Stitches

Graphic Instructions on How to Do Embroidery Stitches.

Briad Stitch - Cable Chain Stitch - Feather Stitch - French Knots - Knotted Chain Stitch - Split Stitch

Satin Stitch - Long and Short Stitch - Stem Stitch - Overcast Stitch - Buttonhole Stitch


Briad Stitch How To

To work it .Trace two parallel lines upon the material about one-eighth of an inch apart, and bring the thread through at the right-hand end of the lower line. Throw the thread across to the left and hold it slackly under the thumb. Place the needle pointing towards the worker under this held thread, then twist it round towards the left and over the held thread until it points in the opposite direction. It will now have the thread twisted loosely over it. Next, insert the needle on the upper line one-eighth of an inch from the starting-point, and bring it through on the lower line exactly underneath. Place the thumb over the stitch in process of making and draw the thread through as the diagram shows. It can be worked openly or more closely as preferred.

Cable Chain Stitch How To

Cable chain is descriptively named, for, when worked with a stoutly twisted thread, it has very much the appearance of a chain laid upon the material, rather too much so perhaps to be a pretty embroidery stitch. To work it .Bring the needle through at the top of the traced line, throw the thread round to the left and hold it down with the thumb near where it has come through the material. Pass the needle under the held down thread from left to right and draw it through until there is only a small loop left. Insert the needle in the centre of this loop, on the traced line about one-sixteenth of an inch below the starting-point. Bring it out a quarter of an inch below and outside the loop. Take the thread in the right hand and tighten the loop that has now been formed, and then pass the thread under the point of the needle towards the left (see diagram). Place the left thumb over the stitch in process of making and draw the thread through; this will complete the first two links of the chain; to continue, repeat from the beginning.

Knotted Chain Stitch How To

Knotted chain is a pretty stitch; to look well it must be worked with a stout thread. To carry it out .Trace two parallel lines upon the material, about one-eighth of an inch apart. Bring the thread through at the right hand end in the centre between the two lines, then insert the needle on the upper line one-sixteenth of an inch further along, and bring it through on the lower line immediately below. Draw the thread through and there will be a short slanting line left upon the material. Throw the thread round to the left and hold it under the thumb, then pass the needle and thread through the slanting line from above downwards, leaving the thread a little slack. Place the thread again under the thumb, then in the same way as before, from above downwards, pass the needle and thread through this slack loop. This makes the first two links of the chain; the last one will not be properly fixed in place until the next stitch is taken. The dotted vertical line on the diagram shows the piece of material taken up by the needle upon commencing the next stitch.

Split Stitch How To

Split stitch is a most useful one for many purposes. It is difficult to distinguish from a fine chain when done, but in the working it much more resembles stem stitch. It can be carried out in the hand or in a frame. This stitch, frequently seen upon ancient work, was much used for both draperies and features; the lines of the stitching usually, by their direction, expressing moulding of form or folds of drapery. To work it .Bring the thread through at the lower end of the traced line, then insert the needle about one-eighth of an inch further along, and bring it through on the line two or three threads nearer the starting-point; whilst bringing it through take it also through the centre of the working thread, which thus splits each stitch.

Satin Stitch How To

Satin stitch is perhaps the most commonly used of all stitches. It is more quickly worked by hand, but for complicated work the help of a frame is required. Floss silk thread is seen to greatest advantage in a stitch of this kind, for it shows off the glossiness of silk particularly well. It is straightforward in the working and needs no further description than is given by the diagram . The stitches may vary in length, they must neither be impracticably long nor, on the other hand, too much cut up, lest the silky effect be partly lost. These stitches lie close together and in parallel lines; the chief difference between satin and several other closely allied stitches being that these others may radiate or vary in direction according to the space to be filled. The stitch is usually worked in oblique lines; stems, leaves, and petals would be treated in this way; sometimes it is worked regularly having regard to the warp and woof of the material; it would be treated thus when used in conjunction with cross or stroke stitch.

It will be seen that there is as much silk at the back as on the front of the work. There is a method of carrying out the stitch by which this waste of material at the back is avoided; the thread is returned to the front close to where it went through instead of crossing over and coming up on the other side. The effect on the right side, however, is not so good, so this method cannot be recommended.

One of the technical difficulties with satin stitch is to get a neat firm line at the edges of the filled space; this is excellently attained by the Chinese and Japanese, who use this satin stitch a great deal. They frequently work each petal of a complicated flower separately, leaving as a division, between each one and the next, a fine line of material firmly and clearly drawn.

The stitch is much used for raised work, and also lends itself well to gradation of colour. Above is an example of shading in satin stitch. In this case each new row of stitches fits in just between those of the last row; this is a bold but very effective method of expressing gradation. Apart from gradation of colour, the surface to be covered by satin stitch has often to be partitioned up in some way in order to make the satin stitches of a practical length

Long and Short Stitch How To

Long and short stitch is a very slight variation, if any, from satin stitch. The name describes the method of working, for it is carried out by working alternately a long and a short stitch, the stitches being picked up just as in satin stitch. It is useful for close fillings and shaded work, and also as a solid outline for any kind of open filling. The working of the stitch can be seen in above, where the band of lightest colour on the upper part of the leaf is worked in long and short stitch. The advantage of this way of working can be seen at once, it makes a firm outline on the one edge and a nicely broken up one on the other, just ready for another shade to be worked in. In order to carry out the rest of the shading on the leaf in the same way the stitches can be all of the same length; this will always ensure a broken line at the edge, which is a necessity for this method of gradation. Long and short stitch used as an outline for a leaf . The opus plumarium or feather stitch that we read of in the descriptions of the old embroideries was a similar stitch to this, and so called, some say, because it resembled the plumage of a bird.

Stem Stitch How To

Stem stitch, well known and frequently in use for various purposes, such as for lines, outlines, gradated and flat fillings, and so on, is usually done in the hand, and is quite simple. If a broad line is required the needle is put in more obliquely, and a raised effect can be obtained by working over a laid thread. The thread must be kept to the same side of the needle, either to the left or to the right as better suits the purpose in hand; the effect is more line-like when it is kept to the right. Occasionally, when just a double line is to be worked, it is deliberately done in the two ways, and then the line resembles a narrow plait.

Overcast Stitch How To

Overcast stitch in embroidery is practically a very short raised satin stitch. It requires neat workmanship, and then makes a bold clear line or outline. To work it .Run or couch down a thread on the traced line, then with fine thread cover this over with close upright stitches, picking up as little material as possible each time in order to make the line clear and round. The stitch is worked most perfectly in a frame.

Backstitch How To

Back stitch sometimes makes a good line or outline. To work it —Bring the needle through one-sixteenth of an inch from the end of the traced line, insert it at the commencement and bring it through again one-sixteenth of an inch beyond where it first came out. Each stitch, it will be seen, commences at the point where the last one finished.

Buttonhole Stitch How To

Buttonhole stitch, which is well known in plain needlework, is very useful also in embroidery, besides being an important stitch in needlepoint lace. Owing to its construction it is well suited for the covering of raw edges, but it is also adaptable to a variety of other purposes, such as are open or close fillings of leaves and flowers, cut work, and the outlining of applied work.

To work the ordinary buttonhole stitch . Bring the needle through at the left-hand end of the traced line, hold the thread down to the left with the thumb and insert the needle as shown in the diagram, draw it through over the held thread to complete the stitch. It is worked openly in the diagram, but it may, as required, be either more or less open or quite closed.

French Knots Stitch How To

French knots can be worked in the hand or in a frame. They are easier to manage in the latter, and to look well they must be neatly and firmly made. Completed they should resemble beads lying end upwards on the material. To work the French knot .Bring the thread through the material at the required point, take hold of it with the left finger and thumb near the starting-point (A on plan), then let the point of the needle encircle the held thread twice, twist the needle round and insert it at point B on plan, draw the thread through to the back, not letting go the held thread until necessary.

Feather Stitch How To

The feather stitch, often used to decorate plain needlework, The stitch is so simple and so much in use as hardly to need description;. There can be many slight variations of the stitch, the worker perhaps devising them needle in hand.


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