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6 Basic Stitches Of Embroidery [Learn Today!]

When you’re first learning how to embroider, it’s smart to start with some of the most basic stitches of embroidery. Once you’ve mastered these stitches, you can build off of them and learn even more.

News Flash! You can certainly make a beautiful embroidery with just a few different stitches!

There are seriously SO many different embroidery stitches (take a look at this picture glossary). The reason this post goes over only six of them is to not overwhelm you if you’re brand new. I picked out 6 that are fundamental to embroidery, meaning they have a wide variety of applications and they are used frequently in most designs and patterns.

We’ll go over a good variety of outline, fill, and decorative stitches that would be ideal to have in your toolbelt.

basic stitches of embroidery

Basic Stitches of Embroidery

In order to start practicing, you don’t need much; just an embroidery hoop, an embroidery needle, some fabric, and some embroidery floss.

Back Stitch

If I could only recommend one stitch for someone to learn, it would be the back stitch. This is a great stitch for lettering, outlining shapes, and you can even use it to fill in areas if you want to! An added bonus: this one is a super easy one to learn.

back stitch

Running Stitch


Another beginner friendly technique is the running stitch. You probably recognize this one similar to what you would see in hand sewing. You can use it for lines and borders.

basic embroidery stitch: running stitch

Chain Stitch

The chain stitch is an interesting one. Don’t let it’s fancy looks fool you! It’s also relatively easy to learn. You can use it for borders and lettering. If you want to add more texture, you can also use it to fill in areas.

embroidery chain stitch

French Knot

This knot is probably the most challenging of all 6 stitches to learn, but with practice you’ll be addicted. These knots are great to make small flowers with or for filling in the center of larger flowers. Check out this French knot tutorial that gives some helpful tips to make learning easier.

french knot

Lazy Daisy Stitch

Also known as a detached chain stitch, this stitch is in fact a single chain stitch. Lazy daisies are great for flowers. Learn how to make them in this lazy daisy flower tutorial.

lazy daisy stitch

Satin Stitch

The satin stitch is a type of filling stitch. It is essentially straight stitches that are laid side by side one another. It adds a smooth, simple look to embroidery.

satin stitch

PDF + Free Mini Course

If you’d like a PDF download of all of these stitches and a free mini course on how to get started with embroidery, you can sign up below! This course is available on my website. I’ll send you the password to get in, and you’re welcome to use it indefinitely! You’ll receive a free pattern and stencil, and you’ll have access to lots of informative resources (including videos!) to help you continue to learn and have fun with embroidery.

Once you’ve got these basic stitches of embroidery down, I’d suggest investing in a “stitch encyclopedia”. This is a great way to quickly reference a technique you aren’t sure about, and it’s also an amazing resource to learn new stitches to challenge yourself.