Fern stitch embroidery

Fern stitch

Fern stitch embroidery is a simple hand embroidery stitch from the Straight stitch family. This stitch is formed from three straight stitches and can be embroidered in lines, rows, or even detached stitches. This embroidery stitch looks excellent in straight and curved lines and has multiple uses in textile arts.

Applications of the Fern stitch

This simple hand embroidery stitch is highly versatile and has multiple applications:

  • Use it for fancy outlines.
  • Embroider this stitch as a decorative border.
  • Use isolated Fern stitches for powdered filling or the rows of the stitches to create a textured background.
  • Use this decorative embroidery stitch to depict the branches, vines, or other parts of the plants in the botanical embroidery.
  • Use this embroidery stitch in applique work to hold down applied fabric.
  • Add this playful stitch to your crazy quilts.
  • Use Fern stitch for mending projects – to reinforce the worn-out fabric or to attach the patches.
  • Use Fern embroidery stitch for beadwork. This stitch looks great if you add some beads to it.
Fern stitch embroidery with blue thread front side
Fern stitch embroidery with blue thread back side

More stitches from the Straight stitch family

Learn how to embroider Fern stitch

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

Fern stitch embroidery on white fabric

How to embroider Fern stitch

Yield: 1 sampler
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Difficulty: Beginner

Step-by-step tutorial


  • Piece of fabric. Opt for linen or cotton blends.
  • Embroidery floss. For this tutorial, I used green pearl cotton thread.


  • Hoop
  • Embroidery needle
  • Scissors or snips


  1. Draw three lines to position the stitches. Start with a Straight vertical stitch on the central line. Fern stitch step 1 - make a straight stitch
  2. Take the needle up on the left line. Make a stitch down to the same point on the central marked line. Fern stitch step 2 - stitch to the left
  3. Take the needle up on the right line. Make a stitch down to the same point on the central marked line.
  4. Make one more Straight vertical stitch on the central line. 
  5. Repeat the stitches to the left and to the right, until you will fill all the design. Fern stitch embroidery with blue thread front side

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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