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Cable chain stitch icon
Cable chain stitch

  • Cable stitch
Cable chain stitch main image

Cable chain stitch consists of alternate straight stiches and loops so that the finished stitch looks like a length of metal chain.

A variant of chain stitch; for more information see the entry for chain stitch.

Cable chain stitch is generously sponsored by Margaret Bateman



Bring the needle and thread to the surface and wrap the needle with the base of the thread


Take the needle down through the fabric a few millimetres ahead, leaving a loop on the surface.


Bring the needle up through the fabric within the loop.


Tighten the loop around the needle from the underside before bringing the thread up through the fabric


Repeat the last 4 steps to complete another link


Continue to repeat these steps to form more links to produce a cable chain

Cable chain stitch

Structure of stitch

Embroidery Techniques

Identifying Cable chain stitch

The straight stitch is actually more like a Pistil stitch (with a single wrap) and from certain angles the curve of the knot is visible.

The reverse of the stitch looks like a line of running stitch.


  • Anchor Embroidery, 100 Embroidery Stitches
  • Kate Haxell, The Stitch Bible (2012)
  • Jennifer Campbell, Ann-Marie Bakewell, Guide to Embroidery Stitches (2004)
  • Sarah Whittle, The Needlecraft Stitch Directory (2012)
  • Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches (1934) , p.28