How To Embroider Curved Lines Neatly And Smoothly

It can be a challenge to embroider a smooth, gentle curves. Pretty much everyone that embroiders has struggled to get curved lines looking nice and neat. If you feel like your outline stitches are looking a bit jagged and messy, you’re in the right place! This post will provide some tips and tricks for embroidering curved lines that will almost instantly improve the way they look!

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how to embroider curved lines

Best Embroidery Stitches For Curved Lines

curved outline embroidery stitches

Back Stitch

The back stitch is the easiest of the stitches to work curved lines. Make sure the stitches are short and even along the line. Making back stitches too long will cause the line to look jagged. The end of each stitch should share the same hole as the start of the next one.

Chain Stitch

The chain stitch is a relatively easy stitch to embroider curved lines. Make sure you are keeping your stitch length the same size, because it can be a bit more obvious when your stitches aren’t even.

Stem Stitch

The stem stitch can be a bit more challenging to get right when you’re stitching curves. Make sure to keep the stitches short and keep your working thread to one side as you’re working this stitch so the stitches all lay the same. Also be sure that you’re keeping the stitches directly on the marked line and not to the side, which is easy to do with this stitch.

Split Stitch

The split stitch is easiest to work with an even amount of strands of thread since you are splitting the thread as you work it. It will look uneven otherwise! Take your time working the stitch and make sure you’re splitting the stitches directly in the middle.

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embroidering curved lines - back stitch

General Tips For Embroidering Smooth Curved Lines

Use High Quality Embroidery Floss

Using high quality embroidery floss will make the stitching process way nicer and easier! You want to use floss that has a nice sheen, is durable, and is colorfast. Why spend all this work making your stitches look nice if your embroidery isn’t going to stay looking nice for years to come?

I normally use stranded cotton embroidery thread from DMC, but there are also a few other high quality thread brands out there.

Mark The Fabric Before You Get Started

Eyeballing your embroidery design is a surefire way to create an uneven looking line! It’s always best to create a design first before you get started stitching.

Use The Right Size Needle

Make sure you are choosing the right size needle in relation to how many strands of thread you’re using. If you use too big of a needle, it can create holes in the fabric where your stitches are, which cause the line to look irregular and not smooth.

Use Natural, Evenly Woven Fabric

Natural, evenly woven fabrics such as linen or cotton are best for embroidery. The tight, even weave of the fabric is great to stitch on because it allows you to stitch freely on it. If you choose a fabric with an uneven or loose weave, it will affect the way your stitches look. Most of the time, this will result in visible holes or jagged stitches. Learn more about choosing the best embroidery fabrics.

Use More Strands Of Thread

Sometimes using a few more strands of thread (~3-6) can be a bit more forgiving than only stitching with one or two strands. I find that it can hide small imperfections sometimes!

Shorten Your Stitch Length

Since you’re making straight stitches on a curved line, it will be more obvious and the line will appear more jagged if your stitches are too long. Focus on making short, even stitches.

More Stitch Tutorials

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll surely enjoy these ones that are all about improving your embroidery skills!

How To Embroider Straight Lines

9 Embroidery Tricks To Save You Time And Frustration

How To Embroider More Neatly

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