Reverse chain stitch

Reverse chain stitch

Reverse chain stitch is an alternative way to embroider a simple Chain stitch. The visual result of the embroidery stitches will be the same as the regular Chain stitch on both the front and back sides.

Other names of the stitch

Chain stitch is also called Tambour stitch and the Point de chainette.

Reverse Chain stitch -front and back
Reverse Chain stitch -front and back

Applications of the Reverse chain stitch

Making a Chain stitch in a reverse way is a convenient way to change the direction of the stitches when the design requires it.

Applying the rows of alternated regular and Reverse chain stitches will create a knit-like pattern.

This hand embroidery chain stitch, the same way as a Chain stitch, is a very versatile and widely used hand embroidery stitch. In modern surface embroidery, we use chain stitch for:

  • Outlines
  • Lettering
  • Border designs
  • Filling
  • As a part of composite stitches

How to embroider Reverse chain stitch

How to embroider Reverse chain stitch - step by step
How to embroider Reverse chain stitch - step by step

  • Start with a tiny straight stitch.
  • Come up with a needle one stitch away and pass the needle under the stitch you just made.
  • Come down in the same hole where you pulled the needle up. This will form a chain stitch.
  • Come up one more stitch away and thread the needle under both threads from the previous stitch.
  • Come down in the same hole where you pulled the needle up.
  • Continue looping stitches under the previously made ones.
  • TIP. You can use the back of the needle to pass the thread under the stitches.

More variations of the Chain stitch

Video tutorial

If you are a visual learner, watch a video tutorial below or on the Practical Embroidery YouTube channel.

What’s next?

Looking for some other stitch? Head to this blog’s Stitches and Techniques page and choose the stitch you want to learn!

N.B. Some links may take you to the Easy To Make 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!

Related projects

If you want to learn Reverse chain stitch by practicing it, try these hand embroidery patterns:


Red abstract flower embroidery in making

Flower embroidery pattern, red modern flower


Rainbow star pattern

Rainbow star pdf pattern for hand embroidery


Milky way hand embroidery pattern

Milky Way pattern for hand embroidery