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Basque stitch icon
Basque stitch

  • Twisted daisy border stitch
Basque stitch main image

This intricate surface stitch is made up of detached twisted chain stitches worked parallel to each other, protruding from a twisted line.  The structure has similarities with blanket stitch, where the ‘legs’ are replaced with twisted chain stitches.

For a slightly heavier line stitch with protruding detached chain stitches see petal stitch and for a version with a simpler line but more intricate chain see rosette chain stitch.

Basque stitch, as its name suggests originates in the Basque region of northern Spain.  Traditionally it was worked in white on blue-green cloth or in green on red cloth.

Basque stitch is generously sponsored by Julie Hutton in memory of Janet Woodward



Bring your needle up at the left hand end of the design line, take your needle down through the fabric, decide on the depth of the stitch and bring the point of the needle back to the surface.


Leaving the needle in the fabric, wrap the base of the working thread around the back of the needle and over the front of the needle…


then under the point to create a letter Z.


Pull the needle though, effectively bringing your needle up in a twisted loop.


Pull taut.


Secure the loop with a holding stitch over the apex of the loop.


Bring the needle back to the surface at the start/end of the loop, on the inside of the angle (like a blanket stitch) and pull through.


Decide on the position of the next stitch and take your needle up and down through the fabric, parallel to the previous loop.


Repeat the process with evenly spaced stitches.

Basque stitch

Structure of stitch

Embroidery Techniques

Identifying Basque stitch

This stitch resembles a blanket stitch where the legs consist of chain stitches angled at 90 degrees to the base line.  For a similar stitch where the base line resembles stem stitch see petal stitch; for a similar stitch with a heavier base line and a more intricate chain see rosette chain stitch.


  • Sarah Whittle, The Needlecraft Stitch Directory (2012) , p.108
  • Mildred Graves Ryan, The complete encyclopedia of stitchery (1979) , p.177