Embroidery stitches

Embroidery stitches

A seed stitch (also known as isolated back stitch, seeding stitch, seed fillling stitch or speckling stitch) is in fact a series of tiny straight stitches or back stitches taken at all angles and in any direction, but more or less of an equal length. These small stitches are used to fill in either part of a design or the ground. To be effective the stitches are normally placed quite irregularly and without making any pattern.

Self-couching is a technique whereby the laid thread and the couching thread are one and the same. Types of self couching are Bokhara couching and Roumanian couching. GVE

The serpentine hem stitch is a form of hem stitch. It is basically a close variant of the ladder hem stitch, in such a way that the second line of stitches does not combine the same vertical threads as those of the first line, but combines an even number of threads from one stich in the first line, with another even number of vertical threads from the adjoining stitch in the first line.

The simple loop stitch is a variation on a running stitch, but instead of the thread being pulled tight so that it lies flat on the surface of the cloth, a small loop is made.

A slanting blanket stitch is a form of blanket stitch, but instead of the upright elements of the stitch being straight they slant slightly to one side.

The slanting detached chain stitch is a variation on a detached chain stitch, in which the individual stitches are worked at an angle to an imaginary line, rather than in a straight line.


The Smyrna stitch is often used in Italian embroidery. It is a knotted stitch and correspondingly creates a knotted line, generally created for outlines. The Smyrna stitch is also known as the double knot stitch, old English knot stitch, Palestrina stitch or the tied knot stitch.

The 'Spanisshe stiche' was a mid-sixteenth century English term for a double running stitch (also known as the Holbein stitch). In Henry VIII’s inventory of 1547, for example, there is a reference to a cloth (either a napkin or coverpane) “wrought with redde Spanisshe stiche mailed betwixt two borders".

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