7 days of stitches: herringbone stitch

7 days of stitches: herringbone stitch


UPDATE: Originally I wrote this post in February 2014 as a tutorial series. However, I recently felt that it would be great to vamp this series up and add some new insights of my own, picture examples and a pinterest board to get in the mood to start stitching! So if you are reading this in 2016 and later: Hello! You are reading the better and improved version :D

The herringbone stitch is a crossed stitch. It’s commonly used to fill areas with a low amount of waste yarn in the back.

Here is how it works:


Before making the stitch you can mark 2 parallel lines on the fabric to make it easier to keep the right spacing. Then imagine a triangle between the 2 lines with the point where the thread comes out as the left bottom corner. So now when you stick the needle in the upper line you do it just a little bit on the right of the upper corner of the triangle. Then come up just a little bit left of the upper corner of the triangle.



Repeat the step above, but upside down. The triangle has it’s base now in the upper line and the pointy corner at the bottom.



this stitch produces 2 dashed lines of stitches in the back


The herringbone stitch is ideal for filling long stretched areas. It works great for leaves, flowers or braided stuff. Don’t stretch the stitch too high because it tends to contract the fabric between the 2 lines if your tension of fabric is not right or simply the space between both lines is to big. Try not to pull the thread too much after each stitch or the fabric is more likely to contract inbetween.

By positioning the stitches you can also achieve multiple effects with this stitch.I have made several tutorials on variations of the herringbone stitch here, here and here, if you want to give this stitch a try.

herringbonedaysembherringvaremb-verticalherringbone The herringbone stitch is not as commonly used as the other basic stitches we covered over the last days. Luckily Maria Tenorio uses this stitch (and many many others more!) for her plushs:

hand embroidered plush by María Tenorio - look at the variety of stitches in her works!

hand embroidered plush by María Tenorio – look at the variety of stitches in her works!

Wait, there is more! Here are some great examples of embroidery featuring the RUNNING STITCH curated in a Pinterest board:

herringbone stitch pinterest board

This tutorial is part of 7 days of stitches. Take a look over here to see all the other stitches.

If you have additional information about the herringbone stitch, please feel free to comment!





Anne is an embroidery enthusiast living in rural north eastern Germany.

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