July 2, 2007

The Satin Stitch

Karen, one of our readers, commented that she was never happy with her Satin Stitch. She said she would like some "helpful advice on making satin stitches look good." I hope this will help Karen and many others, including me, achieve a smooth and even stitch.

Generally worked from left to right, come up
through fabric and insert needle on opposite
side of shape. Work stitches close together
following the outline of your shape.

- Here are some tips on the Satin Stitch which I have gathered from various hand embroidery books and websites.

1. Fewer threads will result in a fine surface with more stitches close to each other.
(Hip to Stitch)

2. To get a satiny finish it is important to keep the tension of your thread the same throughout. Don't pull too much or too little with each stitch.
(The New Crewel)

3. This stitch is suitable for small areas. If you need to cover a larger area divide the shape into smaller workable areas.
(Sharon B's, In a Minute Ago)

4. First, outline the shape to be covered with back stitch or split stitch. This ensures an even edge around the shape. * Here is a great video tutorial of outlining the shape and filling.
(Needle N' Thread)

5. Start in the middle of your shape and work towards one end first.
(Heritage Shoppe)

This photo is from Nessy, a flicker member. She demonstrates a beautifully smooth Satin Stitch.

This photo is from Margaret, another flicker member. She demonstrates an understanding of direction and following shapes with the Satin Stitch.


  1. To achieve an even neater padded satin finish is to always angle your needle towards the previous stitch, and not straight down.

    Of course this is hard to understand with out a pretty picture...

  2. Thanks you so much. This is very helpful - I was always doing the outline stitch AFTER I did the satin stitch and it never looked pretty. I can't wait to try this out.