Split Stitch Tutorial: Step-By-Step Embroidery Instructions

Split Stitch Tutorial: Step-By-Step Embroidery Instructions

The split stitch is a basic embroidery stitch that can be used to outline an image, or can be used as a filler if you put the lines closer to each other. To create this thicker line of stitching, stab the previous stitch from below to create a continuous line. 

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

Example embroidered split 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 to Embroider Split Stitch

Split stitch step one
  • Start by bringing the threaded needle up from the back of your fabric to the front, until your knot hits the fabric. 

  • Before you make your first stitch, decide how long you want your stitches to be. 

  • Take your needle back through the fabric from front to back one stitch length away from the beginning of your stitch. 

Step 2: Continuing to Embroider Split Stitch

Split stitch step two
  • Now, with the needle underneath again, bring your needle up at a spot near the end but within the previous stitch, splitting the threads of the previous stitch.

  • Repeat with as many stitches as you would like.

Step 3 (optional): Split Stitch as a Filler Stitch

Split stitch step three
  • To use the split stitch as a filler stitch, create an outline of the image, and then fill in with rows of stitches either next to each other or spaced slightly apart. 

Video Tutorial - Split Stitch

Prefer to learn by video? Watch our step-by-step split stitch video.


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!

Beginner embroidery kit

Made with Love by Many

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