Chain Stitch

Schematic drawing of a chain stitch. Schematic drawing of a chain stitch. Drawing by Martin Hense.

The chain stitch is an ancient embroidery technique, used in many parts of the world, in which a series of interconnecting loops are made with a needle or a small hook. The chain stitch has been identified from garments found in the tomb of the Egyptian pharaoh, Tutankhamun

When making this stitch, the needle and thread are brought out at the top of the line to be covered, and held down with the thumb on the material. The needle is then inserted into the exact spot where the thread first emerged and is brought out again a short distance below (according to the length of stitch required). The needle/thread is drawn through and over the loop of the working thread. The stitch is then repeated.

The chain stitch is also known as the tambour stitch or the point de chainette.

There are many variations on the theme of the chain stitch, including: double chain stitch, feathered chain stitchopen chain stitch and spiked chain stitch, as well as the detached chain stitch (lazy daisy stitch) and the reverse chain stitch (aka broad chain stitch).

Source: THOMAS, Mary (1934). Mary Thomas's Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches, London: Hodder and Stoughton, pp. 32-33.


Last modified on Tuesday, 14 February 2017 12:18
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