Closed Cretan Stitch embroidery

Closed Cretan Stitch

Closed Cretan stitch is a variation of Cretan Stitch for filling. The embroidery method of this stitch is the same as the classical Cretan Stitch. Still, the space between the stitches is so tiny that the stitches fully cover the fabric.

The stitch has three areas where the central part of the stitch is more dense than the side sections.

Other names of the stitch

Closed Cretan stitch is also called Persian Stitch, Long-Armed Feather stitch, or Cretan Feather Stitch.

Closed Cretan stitch embroidery with pearl cotton and embroidery floss
Closed Cretan Stitch embroidery with pearl cotton and embroidery floss
Closed Cretan stitch embroidery rear side
Rear side of Closed Cretan Stitch

Applications of the Closed Cretan Stitch

This hand embroidery technique fills the areas with stitches, fully covering the fabric. With the Closed Cretan Stitch, you can create a bar or other not too complex shapes like ovals or squares. The stitch is often used in botanical embroidery to depict leaves.

More Variations of the Cretan Stitch

Learn how to embroider Closed Cretan Stitch

Follow the step-by-step tutorial with detailed photos below, and you will learn the Closed Cretan Stitch in no time. 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.

Closed Cretan stitch green small

How to embroider Closed Cretan Stitch

Step-by-step hand embroidery tutorial


1. Mark the fabric with four parallel lines that you will use as guidelines. Push the needle to the surface on the second line and make a straight stitch to the fourth line. Leave the loop of the working thread open.

Closed Cretan stitch step1

2. Take the needle up on the third line. Pull all the thread to the surface and close the loop of the working thread.

Closed Cretan stitch step2

3. Now, take the needle down on the first line, leave the loop open.

Closed Cretan stitch step3

4. Take it up on the second line. Pull the thread and tighten the loop.

Closed Cretan stitch step4

5. Make a stitch to the fourth line and take it up on the second line.

Closed Cretan stitch step5

6. Repeat stitching in this sequence until you fill the desired area.

Closed Cretan stitch step6

TIP: You can vary the size of the three sections of the stitch, making the central, more densely filled area bigger or smaller. Draw the guiding lines accordingly.

Closed Cretan stitch embroidery with green pearl cotton and embroidery floss

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