List of sewing stitches

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

types of hand sewing stitches

This is a list of stitches used in hand and machine sewing. The most common standard for stitches in the apparel industry is ASTM International ASTM D6193-16(2020)[1] The standard also covers various types of seams.

Under this classification of stitches there are basic groups as follows:

  • Class 100 - Single Thread Chainstitch
  • Class 200 - Hand Stitches
  • Class 300 - Lock Stitch
  • Class 400 - Multi-thread Chain Stitch
  • Class 500 - Over-edge Chain Stitch
  • Class 600 - Covering Chain Stitch

Examples of machine stitches[edit]

Types of hand stitches[edit]

  • Back tack – backward stitch 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 tacking stitch)
  • 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' and '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 appearance
  • 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
  • Saddle stitch - alternating running stitches
  • Sailmaker's stitch – may refer to any of the hand stitches used for stitching canvas sails, including the flat stitch, round stitch, baseball stitch, herringbone stitch.[2]
  • 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
  • Straight stitch – the basic stitch in hand-sewing and embroidery
  • Tacking stitch (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.
  • ^ "Standard Practice for Stitches and Seams". ASTM International. ASTM International. Retrieved 8 February 2024.
  • ^ "Chapter 3 - Marlinespike Seamanship - Sewing canvas by Hand". Seaman: Military manual for the Seaman rate. Integrated Publishing, Inc. Retrieved 2022-11-28.