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 side with blue threads
Reverse Chain stitch – front side
Reverse Chain stitch rear side with blue threads
Rear side of Reverse Chain stitch

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

Learn how to embroider Reverse Chain Stitch

Follow the step-by-step tutorial with detailed photos below, and you will learn the Reverse Chain Stitch quickly. 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.

Reverse Chain stitch with blue Pearl cotton

How to embroider Reverse Chain Stitch

Step-by-step hand embroidery tutorial


1. Start with a tiny straight stitch.

 tiny straight stitch

2. Come up with a needle one stitch away and pass the needle under the stitch you just made.

Reverse Chain stitch step2

3. Come down in the same hole where you pulled the needle up. This will form a chain stitch.

Reverse Chain stitch step3

4. Come up one more stitch away and thread the needle under both threads from the previous stitch.

Reverse Chain stitch step4

5. Come down in the same hole where you pulled the needle up.

Reverse Chain stitch step5

6. Continue looping stitches under the previously made ones until you finish to embroider the line.

TIP. You can use the back of the needle to pass the thread under the stitches.

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