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How To Use a Chain Stitch In Needlepoint


A chain stitch is traditionally an embroidery or crewel stitch but it can be used to good effect on a needlepoint canvas.

Benefits of a Chain Stitch
  • It stitches up quickly.
  • You can make it loose or tight for a fat line or a thinner line.
  • The length of stitch can easily be varied to produce long loops or short tight loops, depending upon the effect you want.
  • A chain stitch can follow any curve in any direction and gives a nice bold, textured line.
  • You can line up lengths of chain stitch next to each other to get the effect of hair, rope, tree trunks etc.
chain stitch hair

Places To Use a Chain Stitch

  • Braids or cornrows in hair.
  • Branches and trunks.
  • Belts and accessories.
  • Mountain ridges to provide contrast or a two-dimensional effect.
  • Anywhere you like!

How to Stitch A Chain Stitch

needlepoint chain stitch
The needle comes up at 1 and down at 2. The graphic has the needle looking like it is coming up in the same hole at 2, whereas in needlepoint it would come up in an adjacent hole (similarly with 3 and 4, and so on). When you bring the needle up at 3 you need it to catch the loop formed by the tightening thread - this forms the chain.



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