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Reverse chain stitch icon
Reverse chain stitch

  • Broad chain stitch

As its name suggests, this stitch is chain stitch stitched in reverse.  It starts with a small anchoring stitch through which the loop of the chain is threaded, and then each subsequent chain is stitched through the previous one.

Reverse chain stitch is normally stitched with a shorter stitch and thicker thread than normal chain stitch.

For more information, see the entry for chain stitch.

Reverse chain stitch is generously sponsored by Marjorie Hague and Jean Cooper


Works well with a thicker thread and a short stitch


Start with a small single running stitch.


Bring the needle and thread to the surface and slide the needle under the loop of the running stitch.


Draw the thread through and take the needle back down the same hole to create the first chain.


Bring the needle up again, this time sliding the needle under the two loops created by the last chain, then back down the same hole to create the second chain.


Continue by repeating the last step. Keep the stitches short, and ideally always slide under the previous chain from the same direction each time.

Reverse chain stitch

Structure of stitch

Embroidery Techniques


  • Mrs Archibald Christie, Samplers and Stitches (1921) , p.43
  • Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches (1934) , p.34