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The 3 Embroidery Stitches you Absolutely Need to Know

When you’re just starting out, embroidery can be a bit of a minefield. There’s so many stitches and different supplies you need to get your head around – where do you start?

The choice of which embroidery stitches is crucial, especially for beginners, because these stitches lay down the foundation for the embroidery design. Learning the basics is key, before contemplating any of the trickier stitches.

But, what are the basic foundation stitches?

Keep reading below to find out why the back stitch, satin stitch and French knot are 3 essential embroidery stitches that you absolutely must know when starting out!

Back Stitch

The back stitch is one of the fundamental stitches in embroidery due to its’ ease and versatility. It is most commonly used for outlining shapes and adding fine details to embroidery designs. I often use it for lettering, too!

This stitch creates a solid and continuous line that doesn’t warp or unravel out of shape, and is perfect for creating different shapes with your stitching. I love it because it is almost like line drawing with a needle and thread. As it is also so easy to learn to do, it becomes an absolute staple for an embroiderer’s stitch bible!

Satin Stitch

The satin stitch is renowned for its’ ability to create smooth and vibrant areas of colour on your embroidery. For this reason, it is perfect for filling shapes and creating textured sections within embroidery designs.

As a beginner, learning the satin stitch can help you to explore colour blending and stitch precision, which enhance your embroidery skills overall.

This stitch also requires patience and attention to detail, and for that reason it is a lot like marmite! (You either love it or hate it!) Over in our Bloom Embroidery Academy, we cover allll the tips and tricks on how to improve your satin stitches to make them neat, smooth and precise!

French Knots

The French knot stitch is the perfect way to add a bit of dimension and texture to your embroidery projects. It is an elegant little stitch that can be commonly used for adding decorative elements to designs, like flower centres, stars, leaves on a tree and so on.

Learning the French knot can take a little bit of practice – there is a certain technique to help to create the perfect knot every time! (P.S. We cover that in the Academy, too!) But, once you get the hang of it, you can add cute little finishing touches to your designs and added texture to make your designs stand out from the crowd!

To summarise, by learning these 3 stitches, you will have an outline stitch, a filling stitch, and a decorative stitch in your arsenal. That in itself can be a perfect foundational building block to improving your embroidery skills even more.

Plus, beyond their individual merits as individual stitches, utilising these 3 stitches also helps you to develop basic but essential embroidery skills:

Stitch Control
If you can master the basics, you will improve your ability to control the tension and placement of your stitches. This is the best way to achieve neat and more professional looking embroidery!

Related Post: How to Improve Stitch Consistency

Develop more advanced stitches
These 3 stitches are foundational embroidery stitches, and act as the building blocks to learning more advanced and technical stitches. Once you’re comfortable with them, you can elevate them to learn the whipped back stitch, colonial knot and padded stitch, and so many more!

Related Post: How to Elevate Your Embroidery Projects

Your own creativity
Whilst these stitches can be used on their own, combining them can produce endless creative possibilities with your finished embroidery pieces. Experimenting with using each stitch in a different way can help you to develop your own unique stitching style.

So, you can see why learning just these 3 stitches as a beginner will set you off to a great start in the world of embroidery! Not only are they probably the most common beginner stitches, they also provide a solid foundation for starting your journey.

If you’re interested in learning even more about these stitches, deep diving into their proper technique, and moving on to more advanced techniques, come and join us at the Bloom Embroidery Academy!

Happy Stitching!

1 comment

1Dollar Digitizing

Excellent blog. It must be read by the beginners as the blog will help them to clear there concepts. I am running a embroidery digitizing company, for further details please visit

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about sophie

Hey there! I'm an artist, mama, author and online educator who is obsessed with helping other women re-claim their time and creativity through modern embroidery.

Kick off your shoes, get cosy, and let's dive in to the world of embroidery, shall we?