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Byzantine stitch icon
Byzantine stitch

Byzantine stitch main image

​This pattern is worked in long diagonal bands of satin zigzags. Each stitch is worked from bottom left to top right across four intersections of canvas, or four threads up and across. The repeat of this stitch is quite large, which means that it covers the canvas quickly. It is a flat stitch and very good for backgrounds.

See jacquard stitch for a development of this stitch.

Byzantine stitch is generously sponsored by Elizabeth Schofield



Make five diagonal stitches in a vertical band. The stitch at the bottom of these will be the corner.


Next, make four stitches horizontally across from the corner stitch. This will make five stitches in total for this row, the last stitch being the corner stitch.


Alternate between vertical and horizontal bands of stitches to make the stepped pattern.


The second row can be worked above or below the first, fitting into the steps. The corner stitches of each row should meet.

Byzantine stitch

Structure of stitch

Embroidery Techniques

Identifying Byzantine stitch

Each stitch is worked from bottom left to top right, diagonally across four intersections of canvas, stitches are placed in parallel next to each other to produce a satin stitch band that creates a stepped pattern across the canvas.


  • Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches (1934) , p.27
  • Kate Haxell, The Stitch Bible (2012)
  • Jennifer Campbell, Ann-Marie Bakewell, Guide to Embroidery Stitches (2004)
  • Sarah Whittle, The Needlecraft Stitch Directory (2012)