Top 5 popular handmade embroidery stitches


Backstitch is so easy to learn that you'll have it down within the first few stitches. This basic stitch is likely to be the stitch you'll use the most. Backstitch is useful for any kind of outlining, but it's also a stitch that pairs well with other stitches, making it a key stitch to learn.

It's also easy to embellish with weaving or wrapping, and quickly transforms into the more decorative Pekinese stitch.

Running Stitch

Running stitch is a simple embroidery stitch that is good for making dashed outlines and adding details to your embroidery. It's also the basis for Japanese sashiko embroidery.

Although basic, it's adaptable and can become complex. For example, you can change the look by adjusting the length and spacing or adding a second row of stitches between the first. It's also another stitch that works well with weaving and wrapping.

Straight Stitch

The ​straight stitch hardly requires an explanation, because it is as simple as bringing the needle up through the fabric and then going back down. But it's worth exploring the many uses for this building block embroidery stitch.

Use the straight stitch to form stars, scattered fills, textures and more. Practice length and placement so you can work this versatile stitch into your work.

French Knot

For many stitchers, making French knots remains a challenge. While it may take time to learn, it's worth the effort. Not only is this a common stitch to find in embroidery patterns, but it's also a good stitch to use when making a textured fill or other design elements.

This stitch involves wrapping the needle to form a knot on the surface of the fabric. The trick to making French knots is to hold the working thread taut, but not too tight. Give it some practice.

Stem Stitch

Stem stitch is another basic stitch that's perfect for creating smooth outlines. It works well for both straight lines and curves, and despite its name, it isn't only for embroidering stems. Use a stem stitch on just about any lines in your stitching.

Like so many stitches, you can adjust the width of stem stitching or use it for fill stitching. Just try to keep your stitch length consistent to create a beautiful result.