List of sewing stitches

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This article is about sewing stitches. For stitches used in surgery, see Surgical suture.

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

Types of machine stitches[edit]

Types of hand stitches[edit]

  • Back tack
  • Backstitch - a sturdy hand stitch for seams and decoration
  • Basting stitch (or tacking) - for reinforcement or for temporarily holding fabric in place
  • 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
  • Rantering
  • Running stitch - a hand stitch for seams and gathering
  • Sailmakers stitch
  • Slip stitch - a hand stitch for fastening two pieces of fabric together from the right side without the thread showing
  • Stoating
  • 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.