Scotch darning stitch

Scotch darning stitch

Scotch darning stitch is one of the stitches used for darning holes. It is incredibly widely used when darning knitwear. This stitch creates a robust and secure mend and is perfect for mending the heels of socks and the elbows of sweaters – parts that suffer from most wear.

The Scotch darning stitch is a variation of the Blanket stitch, and the embroidery method is very similar. The difference is that we add one row of running stitches (or a straight stitch) under each row of blanket stitches and then embroider blanket stitches above this additional row.

This technique allows recreating a missing part of the worn-out fabric when mending and adds more sturdiness to the mend.

Scotch darning stitch - front and back sides
Scotch darning stitch front and back view

Other names of the stitch

You can come upon this stitch also by the name of the Scotch darning technique, Scotch darning, or Scotch mending. In modern surface embroidery, this stitch is called a Corded detached blanket stitch.

Applications of the Scotch darning stitch

  • The most common use of this stitch is the darning of highly worn-out knitwear, especially the areas of the heels and elbows.
  • Reinforcing the worn-out or weak parts of the knitwear or other garments.
  • In surface embroidery, this filling stitch creates a raised, rich surface. It is often used to depict woven baskets, knitted sweaters, and other textural objects.

Mending knitwear with Scotch darning stitch
Knitwear mended with Scotch darning stitch

Some tips

  • Scotch darning can be made in one or more colors. It is a great way to create bold, colorful visible mending blocks. Also, you can make it look almost invisible. Just use the same yarn as knitting, and the mended part will not stand out.
  • If you are mending a knitted garment – use darning tools like a darning mushroom or egg instead of the embroidery hoop. This will allow you to work on narrow pieces like elbows or heels.
  • Be careful with the tension of the garment you are mending. Too loose or too tight might deform your knitwear.
  • In surface embroidery – use more strands of floss to create a more structural and rich pattern.

More stitches for your mending projects:

Video tutorial

Watch this video tutorial and learn how to make Scotch darning.

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 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!