List of sewing stitches

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types of hand sewing stitches

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

Types of machine stitches[edit]

Types of hand stitches[edit]

  • Back tack - backward stitch(es) to anchor tacking or basting
  • Backstitch - sturdy hand stitch for seams and decoration
  • Basting stitch (US) - for reinforcement or for temporarily holding fabric in place (same as Tack)
  • Blanket stitch - used to finish an unhemmed blanket
  • Blind stitch (or hemstitch) - type of slip stitch used for inconspicuous hem
  • 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) - flat looped stitch used in hemming
  • Darning stitch - for repairing holes or worn areas in fabric or knitting
  • Embroidery stitch - one or more stitches forming a figure of recognizable look
  • Hemstitch (Hemming stitch) - decorative technique for embellishing the hem of clothing or household linens
  • Overcast stitch - used to enclose a raw, or unfinished, seam or edge
  • Pad stitch - secures two or more layers of fabric together and provide firmness
  • Pick stitch - 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 - hand stitch for seams and gathering
  • Sailmakers stitch
  • Slip stitch - form of blind stitch for fastening two pieces of fabric together from the right side without the thread showing
  • Stoating - used to join two pieces of woven material, such that the resulting stitches are not visible from the right side of the cloth
  • Tack (UK, also baste or pin) - quick, temporary stitching intended to be removed
  • 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
  • Ladder stitch or mattress stitch - for invisibly closing seams from the outside, i.e. to close a pillow after being stuffed

See also[edit]


  • Sarah’s Hand Embroidery Tutorials (2019). Hand Embroidery Stitches for Everyone. ISBN 978-93-5361-592-5.
  • 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.