Ermine Stitch Embroidery

Ermine stitch Embroidery

Ermine Stitch embroidery is a technique from the Cross Stitch family that is very similar to Star Stitch.

The stitch consists of three straight stitches – a central vertical stitch is asymmetrically crossed by two diagonal stitches towards the bottom.

Ermine Stitch embroidery with pink pearl cotton
Ermine Stitch embroidery with pink pearl cotton

Applications of the Ermine Stitch

Ermine Stitch can be used as a detached stitch, or you can position the rows of the stitches to form decorative borders. Positioning the rows of Ermine Stitch embroidery one above another will create textural filling.

More stitches from the Cross Stitch family

Learn how to embroider Ermine Stitch

Embroidering the Ermine Stitch is easier than you might think. Simply follow the step-by-step tutorial with detailed photos below, and you’ll master this technique in no time. If you’re a visual learner, you can also watch a video lesson on the Practical Embroidery YouTube channel to learn this hand embroidery stitch even faster. With these resources at your disposal, you can feel confident and capable of mastering the Ermine Stitch.

Ermine Stitch embroidery small image

How to embroider Ermine Stitch

Step-by-step hand embroidery tutorial


1. Start with one vertical Straight Stitch.

Ermine Stitch Step 1

2. Take the needle to the surface to the left and a bit below the starting stitch, and make a diagonal stitch that will cross the vertical stitch. The stitch goes down close to the starting stitch, a short distance higher than the starting stitch.

Ermine Stitch Step 2

3. Take the needle up right across the straight stitch at the bottom, at the same distance from the first diagonal stitch. Make a diagonal stitch mirrored to the first one.

Ermine Stitch Step 3

4. Remember, practice makes perfect. Once you’ve completed your first Ermine Stitch, you can choose to finish there, make a row of stitches, or fill the background with the stitches positioned in the rows, one above the other. The more you practice, the more confident and skilled you’ll become in this technique, so keep at it and don’t be afraid to experiment.

Ermine Stitch embroidery filling

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