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Satin stitch - hand embroidery stitches to learn

Satin stitch

Satin stitch, also known as Damask stitch, is a hand embroidery technique, worked in close, parallel rows. It is widely used in many hand embroidery styles and has a long history. Besides that, it is a common needlework tradition worldwide. 

The stitch is worked by carrying the thread across the shape to be filled and returning underneath the material next to the made stitch. The stitches may be performed in any direction, and they may vary in size, for example, when filling in a leaf shape.

I added this stitch to the list of the best embroidery stitches because you will need it for almost every embroidery pattern – so popular it is. It is considered a filler stitch, but you should be careful to use it only for small filling areas, as bigger satin stitches tend to loosen up.

If you look to a more smooth satin look, keep in mind that:

  • Thinner threads (or single strands) work better than more or thicker threads.
  • Ground fabric with a high count and a firm and full weave will work better.
  • Keep it small, don’t try to fill extensive areas with this stitch.
  • When embroidering, start the satin stitch in the middle and move to the sides of the design.
  • For more beautiful edges, outline the satin stitch first (using a split stitch or a stem stitch)

Other names of the stitch

As mentioned before, a satin stitch is often called a Damask stitch. 

Applications of satin stitch in hand embroidery

Satin stitch has a long history and has been used for centuries worldwide. This stitch is essential in whitework, crewel embroidery, canvas work, and of course, in modern surface embroidery. Satin stitch is excellent for:

  • Filling small areas
  • Lettering
  • Depicting flowers, leaves, or other botanical elements
  • As a base for composite decorative stitches

Variations of the Damask stitch:

  • Padded satin stitch
  • Surface satin stitch
  • Overcast couching stitch
  • Whipped satin stitch
  • Horizontal satin stitch
  • Diagonal stitch
  • Basket filling stitch

Video tutorial

Watch a video tutorial below and learn how to embroider this popular filling stitch.

What's next?

In case you need more guidance, sign up for my hand embroidery online course – “The top 10 hand embroidery stitches to learn“. This course is free and teaches all the stitches from the list of the best embroidery stitches. Besides that, a free pdf embroidery pattern download is included in the course.

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!

Related projects

Would you like to learn this stitch while practicing? Then, check out the projects below and create something beautiful today!

Toy galaxy pdf pattern is a great embroidery project for beginners. This pdf pattern with space elements in bright sunny colors would perfectly suit the jeans or trousers’ back pocket.

Also, you can embroider this design on a t-shirt, tote bag, or a string backpack, make a banner, or frame it in a hoop and decorate your children’s room.

Solar system design for hand embroidery, pdf pattern

Solar system design for hand embroidery is a great embroidery project for beginners. This pdf pattern in bright sunny colors would perfectly suit the jeans or trousers’ back pocket.

Also, you can embroider this design on a t-shirt, tote bag, or a string backpack, make a banner, or frame it in a hoop and decorate your children’s room.
This simple motive would perfectly suit the bed linen of your child or even a tea towel.

Satin stitch aka Damask stitch - hand embroidery stitches

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