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Barred square stitch icon
Barred square stitch

Barred square stitch main image

​A grid of widely-spaced small crosses, where the gaps are filled in a square of padded straight stitches.

The crosses are worked over one horizontal and one vertical thread, with gaps of two threads between each cross.  The squares consist of three vertical straight stitches which form the padding, covered by three horizontal straight stitches.  All of the straight stitches are over four threads.

Barred square stitch is generously sponsored by Deborah Lamb



Work the corner cross stitches to begin. These are each across two threads by two threads of canvas. Ensure the top thread of the cross is worked bottom left to top right.


Leaving a space of two threads between the crosses, work a second row of cross stitches.


Work the three vertical bars of the barred square across across four canvas threads, linking one row of crosses to the next.


Next, work back across each square with the horizontal bars, again across four threads of the canvas. These horizontal bars should sit next to each other.


For subsequent rows, work a further row of cross stitches first, and then fill in with the barred squares.

Barred square stitch

Common uses

Embroidery Techniques

Variant Stitches

Identifying Barred square stitch

The barred square part of this stitch is contained within a grid of small cross stitches.


  • Various Authors, The Royal School of Needlework Book of Embroidery (2018) , p.100