Herringbone stitch, as the name suggests, looks like a row of interlaced fish bones. This useful stitch is worth knowing for its versatile nature and the easy way it fills space on any piece of embroidery. Herringbone stitch is found in some quilting circles as part of ‘crazy quilting’ because it is an effective way to decorate seams. Follow these easy steps and when you feel confident, try some variations to the basic herringbone stitch.
Herringbone Stitch – Preparation
If you are new to hand stitching, have a read of my article on how to embroider. This will go through the basic supplies and stitches of embroidery.
Like most hand stitches, herringbone stitch is easiest when done on an embroidery hoop or frame. These are relatively cheap to purchase in bamboo or plastic and come in assorted sizes.
I have done my samples on an unbleached calico but you can do this stitch on any open weave fabric such as linen or Aida fabric.
Embroidery needles are best used for thicker threads. (Read types of hand sewing needles) If you have trouble threading then use a needle threader. This simple device will eliminate a lot of frustration.
How to do Herringbone Stitch
Step 1: Draw Guides
If you are following a border with the herringbone stitch, it is wise to draw two parallel lines to guide you. As you get more proficient you can skip adding the guidelines.
Due to the open nature of the top and bottom of this stitch, your markings will show. For practice, it is ok to use a lead pencil, but you will want to switch to a removable pen or tailor’s chalk for your final product.
Step 2: First Cross
Bring your thread up from the underside of the fabric on the right of the top line, at point (1).
Insert the needle again at point (2), and out again a short distance away at point (3).
Note that (3) is to the right of (2).
You will continually be working this stitch from left to right. This will form the little cross at the bottom of each stitch.
Here is how it looks once the needle is pulled through.
Step 3: Top of Cross
Then insert the needle in the top row into the point (4), and out at point (5).
Step 4: Repeat
Continue making the stitches following these three easy steps and the five points of the pattern.
Completed herringbone stitch.
Herringbone Stitch – Variations
Herringbone is a great border or edging stitch and because it is so simple it has many interesting variations. Simply by changing the size of the stitches, you can change the look of the pattern.
Here is a single herringbone stitch.
By adding another thread to weave amongst the herringbone you can create another dimension to the stitch. A favorite variation of the herringbone stitch is the double herringbone. This is a simple additional row of herringbone placed along the row. It looks especially attractive when you use two contrasting thread colors.
MORE EMBROIDERY STITCHES
- Blanket Stitch
- Buttonhole Stitch
- Chain Stitch
- Chevron Stitch
- Couching Stitch
- Cross Stitch
- Double Herringbone Stitch
- How to Embroider
- Faggoting Embroidery
- Feather Stitch
- Fern Stitch
- Fishbone Stitch
- Fly Stitch
- French Knots
- Hand Embroidery Stitches
- Herringbone Stitch
- Lazy Daisy
- Running Stitch
- Sashiko Embroidery
- Satin Stitch
- Seed Stitch Embroidery (Rice Stitch)
- Stem Stitch
- Straight Stitch
- Web Stitch | Embroidery Tutorial
- Whip Stitch