Herringbone ladder stitch

Herringbone ladder stitch

A Herringbone ladder stitch is a hand embroidery stitch made combining the foundation stitch (back stitch) and threading.

After embroidering two parallel lines of the backstitch, loop the thread through the backstitches without entering the fabric or crossing the backstitch. This threading, made in precise order, creates a decorative stitch perfect for decorative borders.

Application of the Herringbone ladder stitch

Herringbone ladder stitch is a simple but very decorative stitch. You can use it for borders, outlines, or even lettering. 

You can embroider the Herringbone ladder stitch in a single color and create a single-color design or choose two contrasting colors to create exciting patterns. The distance between two parallel lines of the backstitches and the stitches’ size will define how dense the stitch will be. Play with colors and sizes and see what beautiful color combinations you can create with this simple stitch!

Some additional tips:

  • Use a blunt needle, like a tapestry needle, for the lacing stitches. 
  • Instead of a blunt (tapestry) needle, you can use the eye of your regular needle. Be careful not to snag the backstitches or the fabric under and not to hurt your fingers!

You can learn more about the needles in this article – “Hand embroidery needles and all you need to know to choose the right one.”

More stitches from the Back stitch family:

Video tutorial

Watch this video tutorial and learn how to embroider a Herringbone ladder stitch.

What's next?

Looking for some other stitch? Head to the Stitches and Techniques part of this blog and choose the stitch you want to learn!

N.B. Some of the links may take you to the EasyToMake designs blog. This is my older hand embroidery blog. While I’m dedicating all of my energy to the Practical Embroidery blog, the previous version still has a lot of great content!

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Learn with Practical Embroidery online school!

Free online embroidery course - The top 10 hand embroidery stitches to learn



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