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Chequered chain stitch icon
Chequered chain stitch

  • Two colour chain stitch
  • Alternating chain stitch
  • Magic chain stitch
  • Magic stitch
Chequered chain stitch main image

This stitch is a chain stitch where alternate stitches are executed in different colours.  It is worked with two different threads in the needle, one of which alternately disappears, hence the alternate name of Magic stitch.

For more background see the entry for Chain stitch.

Chequered chain stitch is generously sponsored by Dr Carolyn Gibbs



Thread the needle with two threads of different shades.  Bring the needle up and back down again in the same hole, leaving two loops on the surface.  Take care not to catch the thread with the needle and to ensure the same hole is used.


Bring the needle up further below and take it through one of the loops.


Pull both loops tight and one will magically disappear.


Take your needle back down in the same hole again leaving two loops on the surface.


Bring the needle back up further down and this time take the needle through the loop of the other colour.


Pull both loops tight and you will be left with a chain of each colour.


Repeat this process alternating between both colours.  To finish, take a holding stitch over the final loop.  The holding stitch will be both colours.


The finished magic chain will look like this.

Chequered chain stitch

Structure of stitch

Embroidery Techniques

Related Stitches


  • Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches (1934) , p.34–5
  • Mrs Archibald Christie, Samplers and Stitches (1921) , p.41–2