Long and Short Stitch

Long and short stitch. Long and short stitch.

The long and short stitch is a form of free style embroidery, often used for shading flower petals and bird feathers. The characteristic feature of this stitch is that the stitches of the first row are worked in such a way that they are alternately long and short. The stitches in the ensuing rows are all of the same length and fit into the first row.

Also sometimes known as: Algerian filling stitch; brick stitch; embroidery stitch; feather stitch; Kensington stitch; plumage stitch; shading stitch.


  • CLABBURN, Pamela (1976). The Needleworker’s Dictionary, London: Macmillan London Ltd., p. 161.
  • EATON, Jan (1986). The Complete Stitch Encyclopedia, London: Hamlyn Publishing, pp. 72, 74.
  • THOMAS, Mary (1934). Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches, London: Hodder and Stoughton, p. 146.

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 5 June 2016)


Last modified on Tuesday, 18 April 2017 18:06