The best embroidery stitches for lines and letters

The best embroidery stitches for lines and letters

EMBROIDERY STITCHES FOR LINES AND LETTERS

Can you relate to this: you want to embroider your own project and not use the same stitches over and over again. Enthusiastically you look at the embroidery stitches out there and then you have to choose ONE. Not just one – THE PERFECT ONE.

Been there done that? Let me help you a little bit with that decision process. If you are looking for a stitch for lines and letters that is not called back stitch (THE go-to stitch for these purposes) you are in the right place.

Below I’ll show you the pros and cons of some embroidery stitches commonly used for lines and letters. Also, you get to see a side by side comparison of all stitches so you can see the differences more easily.

Here are 8 embroidery stitches for lines

From top to bottom:

  1. running stitch
  2. back stitch
  3. whipped back stitch (left uni, right two colored)
  4. split back stitch
  5. stem stitch
  6. split stitch
  7. chain stitch
  8. magic chain stitch (two colored)

To make your decision process easier, below you’ll find a tutorial for each stitch and what their strengths and weaknesses are.

RUNNING STITCH

Running stitch makes a very flat slim line. To avoid the dashed line, you can make an additional line of stitches to fill out the empty spaces.

Stitch properties

  • good for very tight curves
  • flat and slim stitch
  • dashed line
running stitch tutorial

BACK STITCH

Wait, I said stitches other than the back stitch, right? Yes, I did. Still, it’s a great embroidery stitch and I want to list all the benefits and uses for this stitch, too. There would be something missing would I not include the back stitch in this guide.

Stitch properties

  • good for very tight curves
  • segmented look – each stitch can be identified as an individual stitch
back stitch tutorial

WHIPPED BACK STITCH

This stitch is a variation of the back stitch (you most probably found that out by the name). The wrapping of threads around the original back stitch blends the harsh segments of the back stitch. I find it very easy to embroider and you can use it with two colors!

Stitch properties

  • good for very tight curves
  • can be stitched in 2 colors
  • stitches blend into each other
whipped back stitch tutorial

SPLIT BACK STITCH

Another variation of the back stitch. It is very similar to the split stitch. It actually is how the back side of a split stitch looks like!

Stitch properties

  • good for very tight curves
  • stitches blend into each other
split back stitch tutorial
the embroidery stitch family guide by Pumora

The Embroidery Stitch Family Guide is an ebook with all overview pictures of all stitch families in the lexicon and the names of all embroidery stitches.



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STEM STITCH

The stem stitch is one of my favorites for line stitching. It’s looking like a thin rope and makes a thicker line than many other stitches because two stitches are worked in the same line. Stem stitch is perfect for curves and slanting lines.

Stitch properties

  • takes curves well – very tight curves are trickier
  • creates a seamless thick line
  • stitches blend into each other
  • makes a rope-like line
stem stitch tutorial

SPLIT STITCH

Split stitch is a variation of the stem stitch. Each stitch is split for the next stitch – hence the name. It’s not as thick as a stem stitch but at works exceptionally well with tight curves.

Stitch properties

  • good for very tight curves
  • creates a seamless thick line
  • stitches blend into each other
split stitch tutorial

CHAIN STITCH

Chain stitches are basically loopes held in place by the next stitch. They have a little gap inbetween where the fabric can shine through. There are two ways to stitch the chain stitch – one starting at the base, one starting at the top. If you have trouble with the first version, try the reverse chain stitch!

Stitch properties

  • works with curves, but not very tight curves
  • creates a very thick line
  • segmented look – each stitch is clearly visible
chain stitch tutorial
reverse chain stitch tutorial

MAGIC CHAIN STITCH

This two colored chain stitch is worked with two threads at one. It’s very fun to do! It has the same properties as the regular chain stitch.

Stitch properties

  • works with curves, but not very tight curves
  • creates a very thick line
  • two colored
  • segmented look – each stitch is clearly visible
magic chain stitch tutorial

SUMMARY

To sum things up: each embroidery stitch has it’s benefits, uses and weaknesses. Here are my favorites for the different applications you might want to use embroidery stitches for:

For tight curves

  • back stitch & whipped back stitch
  • split stitch & split back stitch
  • running stitch

For straight slim lines

  • back stitch
  • running stitch
  • split stitch

For bold lines

  • stem stitch
  • chain stitch
  • whipped back stitch

Looking for more stitches? Here is the embroidery stitch lexicon with over 200 embroidery stitches to scroll through.

embroidery stitches for lines and letters

Comments

  1. […] Embroidery, we have lines and areas to outline and fill. A while ago I showed you embroidery stitches for lines and letters. Today, let’s explore the options for filling areas large and […]

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