Chain Stitch Tutorial: Step-By-Step Embroidery Instructions

Chain Stitch Tutorial: Step-By-Step Embroidery Instructions

The chain stitch is a basic embroidery stitches that is useful for making a continuous line that appears to be made with conjoined loops, like a chain. When you make multiple lines of chain stitches next to one another it also makes a good filler stitch–a stitch that can fill a larger area of a design rather than an outline. 

Brand new to embroidery? We recommend reading our Beginner's Guide to Embroidery first, and trying our Beginner Embroidery Kit

Example of a chain stitch

Prepare Your Thread

Select the desired embroidery yarn color. We recommend embroidering with our wool yarn, Array.

Thread the needle, doubling the yarn so you have an even length hanging on each side, and tie a small knot at the end.

Step 1: Starting the Chain Stitch

Example chain stitch step one
  • Bring your threaded needle to the front of your fabric and pull through until your knot hits the fabric.

  • Insert your needle back down to the same point, and pull the thread to the back, until you have formed a small loop no smaller than the length of your desired stitch.  

Step 2: Continuing the Chain Stitch

Example chain stitch step two
  • In the direction of the stitch line, bring the needle point up through the fabric from the back to the front, and catch the previous loop so that you are pulling the yarn through the loop. 

  • Pull all the thread through and reinsert the needle within the same loop. 

  • Pull to the back until you are left with a second loop the same size as your first stitch. 

Step 3: Ending the Chain Stitch

Example chain stitch step three
  • Repeat Steps 1 and 2 as you continue to make loops in the direction of the desired line of stitches, catching each previous loop with the next stitch. 

  • When you reach the end of your line, secure your final loop with a single stitch rather than a new loop, as shown in this illustration. 

Video Instruction for Embroidering Chain Stitch

Prefer to learn by video? Watch our step-by-step video teaching how to embroider the chain stitch.


Keep Going!

If you’re ready to learn more embroidery stitches, our Zollie Beginner Embroidery Kit has all of the materials, written and video instructions you need to complete 3 projects illustrated by Arounna Khounnoraj of Bookhou. It’s the perfect kit if you’re brand new to embroidery, or rusty with your skills and looking for some support. Come join us! 

example embroidery projects and stitches

Made with Love by Many

Featured embroidery by Arounna Khounnoraj
Instruction by Grace Casey-Gouin
Illustration by Ainsley Ashby
Photography by Ian Justice