Hem Stitch

Basic hemstitch. Basic hemstitch.

The hem stitch or hem stitching is a ornamental drawn thread work technique, which is generally used to decorate the hem of garments or household textiles. Sometimes the technique involves the use of threads with a different colour from the main material. 

Basically, hem stitching means that a number of warp threads are drawn out of the fabric close to the hem, and the remaining threads are bundled and secured with a thread and needle. There are various forms of the hem stitch, as for instance the antique hem stitch, the Italian hem stitch, the ladder hem stitch, the serpentine hem stitch, the 'sham' hem stitch, and the woven hem stitch.


  • DILLMONT, Thérèse de Dillmont (n.d.). Encyclopedia of Needlework.
  • THOMAS, Mary (1934). Mary Thomas's Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches, esp. pp. 111-116. 

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 4 June 2016)


Last modified on Wednesday, 19 October 2016 09:23