List of sewing stitches

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This article is about sewing stitches. For the bandages, see Butterfly stitches. For stitches used in surgery, see sutures. For the technique for combining photographs, see image stitching.

This a list of stitches used in hand and machine sewing.

Machine stitches[edit]

Hand stitches[edit]

  • back tack
  • backstitch - a sturdy hand stitch for seams and decoration
  • basting stitch (or tacking) - for reinforcement
  • blanket stitch - used to finish an unhemmed blanket
  • blind stitch (or hemstitch) - a type of slip stitch used for inconspicuous hems
  • buttonhole stitch - for reinforcing buttonholes and preventing cut fabric from raveling
  • chain stitch - hand or machine stitch for seams or decoration
  • cross-stitch - usually used for decoration, but may also be used for seams
  • catch stitch (also 'flat' & 'blind' -catch stitch)
  • cross-stitch tack
  • darning stitch - for repairing holes or worn areas in fabric or knitting
  • embroidery stitch - one or more stitches forming a figure of recognizable look
  • hemming stitch
  • overcast stitch
  • pad stitch - secures two or more layers of fabric together and provide firmness
  • pick stitch - a hand stitch that catches only a few threads on the wrong side of the fabric, difficult to produce nicely so typically used for hemming high quality garments
  • running stitch - a hand stitch for seams and gathering
  • sailmakers stitch[zoo stitching]
  • slip stitch - a hand stitch for fastening two pieces of fabric together from the right side without the thread showing
  • tent stitch - diagonal embroidery stitch at a 45-degree angle
  • topstitch - used on garment edges such as necklines and hems, helps facings stay in place and gives a crisp edge
  • whipstitch - for protecting edges


  • Picken, Mary Brooks (1957). The Fashion Dictionary. Funk and Wagnalls. 
  • Reader's Digest (1976). Complete Guide to Sewing. The Reader's Digest Association, Inc. ISBN 0-89577-026-1.