How To Do An Embroidery Chain Stitch

Embroideries are the beautiful stitching art that can make your clothes beautiful and attractive. Today, you do not have to settle for the ordinary printed apparel. With the art of embroidery, you can work on your clothes and redesign them according to your preference. Embroidery has plenty of different stitches that you can make to embellish your attires.

If you are looking for some of the best embroidery stitches, you should certainly check out the chain stitch. It is one of traditional and best-known embroidery stitches. It comes from the category of looped stitches. You can stitch it along a straight or curved line. You can use one or a variation of chain stitches at the same time.

In this article, you will get to know how to make chain stitch embroidery that you can use for your stitching endeavours. A little practice will go a long way, so without a further ado, let’s start practising.

How To Do An Embroidery Chain Stitch?

Embroidery chain stitch

You can make chain stitches by bringing the needle close to the thread when making a stitch. You will create a loop of stitch around the succeeding stitches, each stitch will anchor the previous one. While this is the basic for making a chain stitch. Read on further to explore the detailed steps of making it.

Step-by-Step Guide To Make Chain Stitch Embroidery

Chain stitches are easy if you make them in the right way. Regular practice is the key to get hold of the art. Here is a step by step method to make with ease-:

#Note: Before starting you must know that there are two major methods of making it: standard chain stitch and reverse chain stitch. You must start practising in a small cotton cloth piece and further get onto big apparel after learning it completely.

Materials Needed

Materials Needed

  • Embroidery hoop of proper size
  • Embroidery needle (1-5 size)
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Sharp scissors
  • Embroidery floss (6strands)
  • Square cotton fabric for practise

Step 1 – Prepping Up

If you are a beginner, you can mark the fabric with practice lines to avoid the mistakes. To make the markings, use either pencil or water-soluble pen. Now adjust the fabric to the embroidery hoop. After that thread the embroidery floss into the needle (about 12-14”). Make sure to knot it at the end to make a form hold.

Working In Straight Line

Step 2 – Start Working In a Straight Line


To start with you must work up the needle from the back of the fabric and take it to the front of the line. Follow the below steps-:

  • Take the needle from behind the hole from where the thread sprouts come up. Gently bring the needle tip from the distance away, but don’t pull up through.
  • Now place the working thread from the behind and create a loop and pull the needle above the loop.

Keep stitching and create space between the stitches between the loop until you reach the end. Make a small anchoring straight stitch from the end of the final loop to secure it.

Step 3 – Change The Thread

In case, you have run out of thread, do not just end the thread with an anchoring stitch with the final loop. Follow the below the steps-:

  • Take the needle down close to the hole from where the thread sprouts up making a loop with chain stitch. Make sure the loops are similar in size or a little bit larger.
  • Now the unanchored loop will be twisted from the surface, make it on the surface of the fabric. Create a tail from the first thread to the back on the wrong side.
  • Now start weaving a new thread from the back side of the fabric. The needle should come up in the position from where the next stitch will begin and take it through the unanchored loop.

You can also re-adjust the size of the loop by tugging the tail of the first thread.

Step 4 – Work on the Stitch Fill

Stitch Fill

Chain stitch needs proper filling that can be created quickly with a solid block. Make a few rows of stitching in the same direction and create a patterned texture from it. You can fill horizontally or vertically according to your preference.

  • To make the chain stitch as filling, you need to make multiple rows closer to each other and make sure that the fabric doesn’t show up.

Step 5 – Making Reverse Chain Stitch

If you work with chain stitch regularly, you will understand that the whole string can pull out accidently creating troubles for you. You can prevent it easily with the help of reverse chain stitch. For this you need to follow the below steps-:

  • Bring the needle to the front of the fabric where the line starts working.
  • Now take it back down to a straight line and make a small straight stitch along the line.
  • You need to bring the needle one stitch away from the line and insert under the straight stitch.

Keep stitching in the same method till you reach the end of it. There’s nothing special that you need to do when you reach the end. The reverse chain stitch can be used anywhere you want to use the chain stitch.

History of Chain Stitch

Chain stitch is the oldest embroidery stitch whose existence dates back to 1100 BC in China. The archaeological remains from the excavated tombs found the existence of chain stitch. The embroidery made from silk has been found from the region. It is also said that the chain stitch design later reached Iran through the Silk road.

Properties of Chain Stitch

Just like any other stitches, chain stitches also have some features that sets it apart from the other stitches. Here are a few characteristics of chain stitch-:

  • It is made from the same thread that interconnects the loop.
  • You can easily pick the stitch from the beginning to the end.
  • It is a temporary stitch that is generally used for embellishment purposes.
  • The appearance of chain stitch from the front and back are different, so you can easily identify it.

Applications of Chain Stitch

As mentioned above, the chain stitch is used for temporary purposes, the usage of this stitch is also temporary. Take a look at the below applications of chain stitching-:

  • You can use it for creating pocket openings. It gives a nice embellished and unique look to the fabric.
  • Basting is the ideal application of chain stitching because it is temporary and can be easily picked.
  • Depending on your requirement, chain stitching can be used in any form of stitching as a helper.
  • It helps in binding the fabric together and acts as a strong bond.

Variants of Chain Stitching

Hand embroidery and machine embroidery are the two major variations of chain stitching. When it comes to hand embroidery holds a traditional value as many cultural handicrafts and textiles use this embroidery style like Kashmiri numnahs, Iranian Resht work, Jacobean embroidery, etc.

Related Questions

What is the use of chain stitch?

Traditionally chain stitch helps in hemming the jeans and creating rope effect. Over the years, this embroidery stitch has evolved and turned into a designer stitch that are used in apparels for a special effect. It not only works as an embellishment but also strengthens the fabric hold.

Which is the strongest stitch?

When it comes to embroidery, backstitch is the strongest stitch of all. It is the most commonly used stitch that is adaptable, easy to make and done with hand stitching. It is a bulk-free stitching that does not have any knot replacement at the beginning or end of the seam.

chain stitch on sewing machine

Can you make a chain stitch on a sewing machine?

Yes, of course you can create a chain stitch in a sewing machine. You just need to use the right foot for the stitch. Today, sewing machines have evolved and become highly efficient allowing people to manage their embroidery tasks.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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