Back stitch embroidery tutorial

Back Stitch

The Backstitch is one of the first stitches to learn when you begin to embroider. It has a vital role in hand embroidery. As the name suggests, the back stitch is made backward to the general direction of sewing. This stitch forms continuous lines and is mainly used to outline shapes and add fine detail to an embroidered picture. It is also used to embroider lettering.

This stitch can be worked straight and curved. Stitches of different lengths will allow you to make even the most minor and most detailed curves.

This hand embroidery stitch can be made both in sewing and stabbing methods.

Also, this basic stitch is often used as a base for composite stitches.

Back stitch embroidery in circle in dark red thread on white fabric
Details of hand embroidered horse - colorful threads on white linen

Applications Of Back Stitch

  • Backstitch is the main hand sewing stitch as it is strong and holds two layers of fabric well.
  • In cross stitch embroidery, the back stitches are used to add extra details and outline the design.
  • Backstitch is widely used in blackwork and redwork embroidery.
  • In modern surface embroidery – this basic stitch is irreplaceable for outlines, lettering, and filling. Also, it is a base stitch for many variations.

Other Names Of The Back Stitch

You will find the Backstitch and Back stitch used interchangeably. This is because both names refer to the same stitch.

Variations Of The Back Stitch

You will find an extensive list of Backstitch variations in the article “Backstitch and its variations. Hand embroidery stitches from the Backstitch family” on this Blog.

Backstitch and its variations

Video tutorial

If you are a visual learner, watch a video tutorial below or on the Practical Embroidery YouTube channel. In this video, you’ll find easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions that will have you creating the Backstitch like a pro in no time.

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!

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