Backstitch is an embroidery stitch used for outlining the entire perimeter or part of a design, to add detail or emphasis, or for lettering an embroidery work. Backstitch is usually indicated on a chart by solid lines with the shade code indicated on the chart or key. This stitch is added after the line being broken by the cross stitches.

Back Stitch can be worked by either skimming the needle through the fabric while holding it freely in your hand as shown here, or by stabbing the needle up and down in a hoop or frame.

  • Bring the thread through on the stitch line, then take a small backward stitch through the fabric.
  • Bring the needle through again a little in front of the first stitch, take another backward stitch, pushing the needle in at the point where it first came through.

Back Stitch can be threaded with one or two threads of contrasting color.

  • Bring the first lacing thread through at (A) and pass it under the second Back Stitch without piercing the fabric, then under the next Back Stitch and so on as shown.
  • The second same method but begins at (B). Use a blunt needle for the interlacing and do not pick up any fabric.

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