Chain stitching is an ancient technique useful in more intricate work. The chain stitch is essentially a series of looped stitches that, together, form a chain-like pattern. If you crochet, you might have noticed that this stitch looks somewhat similar to an initial chain row in crochet.
The chain stitch is also extremely useful. It can be used for edging on borders, to outline a design, or even as a filler!
This stitch is very popular and has been used around the world for centuries, dating back to at least the 5th century BC in China! This stitch can be found in crewelwork, Hungarian written embroidery, Kashmiri numdahs, Jacobean embroidery, Iranian Resht work, and in Central Asian suzani. Soon, this ancient stitch will be found in your own work!
Your First Chain Stitches
Step 1: Start out by bringing your needle up through the fabric as you would with any other stitch, then bring the needle back down (figure 1) through the same hole, slowly, in order to form a loop (figure 2.)
Hint: Be careful not to pull your thread all the way so that it's taut. You'll want to create that loop as it's the basis of this stitch. If you've pulled it taut, you can gently pull the stitch back up to create the loop.
Step 2: Gently lay the loop flat against the fabric. Then, push the needle up on the inside of the tip of the loop (figure 3) and make another loop (figure 4.) Congratulations! You're making chain stitches!