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Types of Embroidery Stitch - Different Decorative Stitches Used in Hand Sewing

Updated on January 30, 2018
ORNAMENTAL STITCHES: a—Outline; b—Chain; c—Cat; c'—Catch; d—Single Feather; e—Double Feather; f—Triple Feather; g—Modified Feather; h—Double Feather with Knots; i—French Knots and Outline; j—Herringbone; k—Fancy Feather; l—Cat Stitch/ French Knots
ORNAMENTAL STITCHES: a—Outline; b—Chain; c—Cat; c'—Catch; d—Single Feather; e—Double Feather; f—Triple Feather; g—Modified Feather; h—Double Feather with Knots; i—French Knots and Outline; j—Herringbone; k—Fancy Feather; l—Cat Stitch/ French Knots | Source

Hand Sewing for Ornamental / Decorative Stitches

There are two types of embroidery stitches that are used in hand sewing. These are plain stitches and ornamental / embroidery stitches. Most plain stitches are sometimes used for decorative or ornamental embroidery.

In using plain stitches for embroidery/decorations, basting stitch is called Queen Anne darned work. Overhand stitch is used to join hems and selvedges, the back stitch is called seed work which is used in monograms and to embroider letters. Chain stitch is also used in ornamental stitches as a darning stitch.

These are some of the most used embroidery stitches in hand sewing: hem stitch, chain stitch, outline stitch, button hole stitch, feather, coral or briar stitch, blanket or loop, french knots, cat or herring bone stitch, satin stitch and cross stitch.

You can find all these decorations on many fabrics such as dresses, shirts, blankets, cards and much more. These are the kind of embellishments that create fashion trends. Many women do not like wearing plain clothes, but at least a little decoration on it will make a great difference.

All the above-mentioned types of ornamental stitches are all related to types of plain stitches except cross stitch.

You will find embroidery free patterns online at the bottom of this hub/article. Enjoy your embroidery stitching journey.


Hem Stitch

Hemstitching is the art of using hand sewing to make tucks and hems for the decorative or ornamental purpose. The design of hem stitching as ornament varies as some hem stitches can be done straight or diagonally.

Chain Stitch

Chain stitch always looks like when one is using a single thread on the sewing machine to sew. The needle used in chain stitch is inserted in the last loop when stitching the next stitch. Chain stitch is used as a darning stitch when used for ornamental or embroidery design.

Embroidery Buttonhole Stitch

Embroidery buttonhole stitch is quite different from plain stitch buttonhole as it is worked from left to right and not from right to left as in buttonhole in plain stitch. Ornamental buttonhole stitch is used on flannels and on the embroidery of all types.


Feather Stitch

There are single, double and triple feather stitches that can be made very ornamental and used for all types of fabric materials and in sewing. The same method used in buttonhole stitch is used with feather stitch by carrying the threads under the needle.


Blanket or Loop Stitch

Blanket or loop stitches are used to decorate the edges of blankets and are used to finish any web material. The blanket stitch is worked from left to right, and the edge of the fabric material is held towards the worker.

French Knots

French knots are used to stitch centres of flowers, initials and to fill in stitch. The easy way to stitch french knot is to use small back stitches. French knot can be used in combination with other stitches to enclose borders in outline and also in chain stitches.


Cat Stitch or Herringbone Stitch

Cat stitches or herring bone stitches are used as ornamental design by using the back stitch in a slanting way.Herringbone stitch is mostly used to finish hems, opened seams, flannel seams, fastening down linings, canvas facing and feather bone.

Satin stitch

Satin stitches are used to mark linen or other fabric materials. It is a kind of stitch that is used over and over again as it is a flat stitch. satin stitch can be used in monogramming. The stitches are worked closely together and can be stitched on any direction.


Cross Stitch

Cross stitch can be used on open-meshed materials, linen, or canvas. Cross stitch can be used to mark underwear, table linens and other embroidery designs.

Adding Finishing Touch to Embroidery Fashion Trend Items

Among the favourite designs which have stayed its course is embroidery in fashion. There is not many fashion clothing that embroidery creations cannot complement. You can find them on footwear, handbags, evening wears, swimsuits, sportswear.

Regardless of the belief that while you may be a beginner to sewing, it is possible to apply a distinctive embroidery equipment to create any embroidery of your choice on the outfit.

If you are certainly very interested in attaching some finishing embroidery touches to your garments, you can use any basic embroidery technique, to begin with.

Applique is the primary process of embroidery in fashion. This is a technique whereby one piece of fabric is sewn to another. You can use fabric patches, lace, strips or ribbons to make an applique. This you can do by applying it to edges of clothing.

Additionally, you can put in a decorative applique finishing through the use of the various basic stitches, for instance, zigzag, blanket stitch or satin stitch.

Most modern sewing machines are produced with embroidery stitches that you could use. When you use these decorative stitches, they appear like you use hands in creating the embellishments.

A sewing machine that does embellishment in a loop is the one that you can use to insert professional-looking decorations on clothing items. You may use any embroidered design that you can want on your clothing.


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    • profile image

      non ya 

      23 months ago

      that in't help me at all

    • profile image

      kokila shende 

      5 years ago

      Useful information very nice

    • bizwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Christabel Evans 

      6 years ago from England, UK

      There are several other types of embroidery stitch. I also love the satin stitch. Thank you for your visit.

    • LensMan999 profile image


      6 years ago from Trans-Neptunian region

      A very cute and wonderfulhub. I loved the different types of stitches you have included in the hub. They are all very lovely. I loved the satin stitch the most. Nice pictures. Thanks for sharing the usefulhub.

    • bizwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Christabel Evans 

      6 years ago from England, UK

      Embroidery always look great in whichever way one look at it. Thanks for the comment NatashaIh.

    • Natashalh profile image


      6 years ago from Hawaii

      I don't like cross stitch, but I love embroidery! Great photo of pulled thread embroidery, too.

    • bizwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Christabel Evans 

      6 years ago from England, UK

      Thanks pushpa paul for visiting and leaving a nice comment.

    • profile image

      pushpa paul 

      6 years ago

      Very nice And informative.....


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