Alternating Twisted Chain stitch

Alternating Twisted Chain Stitch

This hand embroidery stitch is a variation of the classic Chain Stitch, where the needle takes an alternate path through the fabric, creating a twisted appearance. This technique produces a visually striking effect, perfect for adding dimension and depth to your embroidery projects. The stitch can be worked in a straight line or curved, allowing you to easily create beautiful floral stems, intricate outlines, and decorative borders.

Whether you’re a seasoned stitcher or just starting your embroidery journey, the Alternating Twisted Chain Stitch is a must-have in your stitching repertoire.

Alternating Twisted Chain stitch embroidery
Alternating Twisted Chain stitch embroidery
Alternating Twisted Chain stitch embroidery rear side
Rear side of the sampler

Applications Of The Alternating Twisted Chain Stitch

The versatility of this variation of the Chain stitch makes it a valuable addition to your embroidery toolbox. Here are some creative applications of this stitch:

  • Floral Embroidery: Use the stitch to create stunning floral stems, leaves, and vines, bringing nature’s beauty to your designs.
  • Outline and Borders: The stitch’s twisted appearance makes it ideal for outlining motifs and adding decorative borders to your embroidery projects.
  • Textured Fillings: Experiment with filling larger areas using rows of Alternating Twisted Chain stitches, giving your designs a unique and textured finish.
  • Monograms and Lettering: Add elegance to monograms and lettering using the Alternating Twisted Chain stitch for smooth, sophisticated outlines.

Learn how to embroider Alternating Twisted Chain Stitch

Follow the step-by-step tutorial with detailed photos below, and you will learn the Alternating Twisted Chain Stitch quickly. If you are a visual learner, watch a video lesson in the tutorial or on the Practical Embroidery YouTube channel to learn this hand embroidery stitch faster.

Alternating Twisted Chain stitch front view

How to embroider Alternating Twisted Chain Stitch

Step-by-step hand embroidery tutorial


1. Mark the line for the desired path of your embroidery.

2. Take the needle up on the line. Pass the needle to the fabric close to the starting point, above the thread, and leave the loop.

3. Take the needle up on the line, one stitch to the right.

4. Twist the thread forming the loop and pass the working tread inside the loop. Tighten the loop.

Alternating Twisted Chain stitch embroidery Step1

5. Push the needle down into the fabric under the Chain you just created.

6. Twist the loop and push the needle on the marked line inside the twisted loop.

Alternating Twisted Chain stitch embroidery Step2

7. Continue making twisted chain stitches. Position the stitches alternately – one above the chain stitch and the next – under the chain stitch.

Alternating Twisted Chain stitch embroidery Step3

Video tutorial

YouTube player

Tools and materials I used for this sampler

Disclaimer. To cover the cost of creating free embroidery patterns and video tutorials for this blog, I do sometimes link to products. Please assume these links are affiliate links. If you choose to buy through my links then THANK YOU – it will make it possible for me to keep doing this.

Embroidery fabric cotton linen neutral colors Etsy
Embroidery fabric
DMC Pearl Cotton #8 thread on Etsy
DMC Pearl Cotton #8
Beechwood embroidery hoops Etsy
Embroidery hoop
Bohin Embroidery Needles Etsy
Bohin Embroidery Needles
Embroidery Scissors Etsy
Embroidery Scissors

What’s next?

If you’re in the mood to explore more hand embroidery stitches, check out the Stitches and Techniques page for the list of other fantastic stitches available on my blog. From timeless classics to modern twists, a whole world of stitches is waiting for you to explore and master. So, grab your hoop and needle, and let’s stitch our way to creative bliss!

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Need More Guidance?

The top 10 hand embroidery stitches to learn is a free online course created for beginners.

White sashiko stitches on purple fabric