Basket stitch hand embroidery

Basket Stitch

A Basket stitch is a decorative hand embroidery stitch for filling. It forms a broad line and can be embroidered on counted and not counted fabrics. On the front side, interlacing diagonal threads form the stitch’s weaved surface. On the back side, the stitch looks like a row of doubled parallel stitches.

If you want a woven surface of the stitch to stand out, choose twisted, non-divisible threads like pearl cotton. If you embroider the Basket stitch with embroidery floss, the weaved effect of the surface will be less visible. 

You can see the difference in the surface in my sampler. I stitched a top row with perle cotton and the bottom row – with three strands of embroidery floss. 

Visually, the Basket stitch looks similar to the Herringbone stitch but is not the same. The embroidery technique of these stitches is different. The method of the Basket stitch embroidery is similar to the Fishbone stitch.

Basket stitch embroidery with green threads front view
Basket stitch embroidery rear view

Applications of the Basket stitch

This hand embroidery stitch has a very decorative surface texture and takes curves well. Also, you can adjust the width of the line as you embroider. For these reasons, it is often used in botanical embroidery – to depict wider stems and vines. 

Besides embroidering plants and greenery, you can use this decorative embroidery technique for borders, structural filling, or lettering.

More stitches from the Fishbone stitch family

Learn how to embroider Basket stitch

Follow the step-by-step tutorial with detailed photos below, and you will learn the Basket 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.

Basket stitch embroidery with green floss

How to embroider Basket Stitch

Step-by-step hand embroidery tutorial


1. Mark two lines defining the line you want to embroider on the fabric. Make a knot and take the needle up on the left top corner of the figure.

2. Make a diagonal stitch to the right and down. Pull the thread to the back of the fabric.

How to embroider Basket stitch Step1

3. Take the needle up on the left side, directly opposite to the point where the last stitch ended. Pull all the thread to the surface. 

Basket stitch Step2

4. Make a diagonal stitch to the right. Push the needle down in the middle between the starting point of the figure and the last stitch. Pull the thread to the back of the fabric.

Basket stitch embroidery Step3

5. Take the needle up to the surface on the left mark between the last two stitches. Pull the thread up. 

6. Now, make a diagonal stitch to the right. It has to be parallel to the previous stitch you made. Push the needle down and pull all the thread to the back of the fabric.

Basket stitch Step4

7. Take the needle up on the left side, directly opposite to the point where the last stitch ended. Pull all the thread to the surface. 

8. From here, you will repeat the sequence of the stitches and use the holes of the previous stitches as the guides for the following stitches.

Basket stitch Step6

Video tutorial

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
DMC Embroidery Floss Etsy
DMC Embroidery Floss
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