Holbein stitch hand embroidery tutorial

Holbein Stitch

Holbein stitch is a variation of a Running stitch. Visually it resembles a Back stitch. But, unlike the back stitch, it appears the same on both sides of the fabric. 

The method of embroidering this stitch is simple. First, embroider the line of the running stitch. Then, embroider one more line of the running stitch above, closing the gaps of the stitches from the first row.

Holbein Stitch embroidery

Applications Of Holbein Stitch

  • This simple embroidery stitch can replace a backstitch, especially when both sides of the embroidery have to look like a back stitch. 
  • It is widely used for border designs as a simple but decorative border. You can make a single-color Holbein stitch or mix two colors to make it more fun. The stitch works well in a straight line and also on curves.
  • Holbein stitch can be used as an outline stitch.
  • This stitch will be great for simple lettering (just as a back stitch)
  • It is excellent for mending projects.

More Variations Of The Running Stitch:

You will find an extensive list of embroidery stitches from this stitch group in the article “Running stitch and its variations” on this Blog.

Video tutorial

If you are a visual learner, watch a video tutorial below or on the Practical Embroidery YouTube channel. In this video, you’ll find easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions that will have you creating the Holbein stitch like a pro in no time.

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!

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