Cross Stitch Backstitch Tutorial

One common stitch you will see alot in cross stitch patterns (besides the traditional cross stitch) is a backstitch. This is a super simple stitch, and it’s even easier when it is worked on Aida or even weave fabric because it makes it really easy to make your stitches even!

The backstitch gets its name because each stitch skips ahead and then you make a stitch backwards. This stitch is a very useful one to learn because it is also commonly used in surface embroidery!

This post is part of several posts all about cross stitch. Check out the beginner’s guide to cross stitching to learn more.

How To Do A Backstitch For Cross Stitch

For this tutorial, I am using 2 strands of cotton embroidery floss, a tapestry needle, and Aida cloth.

how to do a cross stitch backstitch
  • Come up through the fabric
  • Place your needle and thread down through the hole directly above or beside.
  • Skip to the next hole and come up through the fabric.
  • Bring your needle back down through the same hole in the fabric where the end of first stitch is.
  • Proceed to the next empty hole and repeat the desired length.

Changing Directions

cross stitch backstitch

You can easily change the direction your stitches are going by going to the right, left, or diagonal hole that your last stitch was made. This makes it great to use for things like letters and borders.

Changing The Length Of The Stitches

Depending on what kind of fabric you are using, you can skip a 1 or 2 holes in the fabric to lengthen the stitches you are making.

Backstitch Tips

  • Making shorter stitches will help curved lines appear more smooth.
  • It is easiest to start this stitch using a loop stitch so your thread doesn’t slip through.

You’ll get the hang of this stitch in no time after a little bit of practice! If you want to learn even more types of cross stitches, check out this post all about fractional cross stitches.

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