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Detached wheatear stitch icon
Detached wheatear stitch

Detached wheatear stitch main image

Detached wheatear stitch consists of a detached open chain stitch with the addition of two slanting stitches underneath the chain stitch; (as the name suggests) the stitch resembles a wheatear.

Detached wheatear stitch bears a strong resemblance to Tête de boeuf stitch (both stitches consist of a detached chain stitch plus two extra small stitches) and over time some embroidery sources have swapped the names of the stitches in error.  However, the strong resemblance of this stitch to an ear of wheat (and that of Tête de boeuf to a bull’s head) suggests that this version is the correct way to stitch it.

Detached wheatear stitch is generously sponsored by Donna Hughes-Barton


The top of the stitch can be varied by crossing, closing or opening the loop.


Bring the needle and thread to the surface, take the needle back down close by, leaving a loop on the surface.


Bring the needle up through the loop and tighten the loop against the needle.


Secure the loop with a straight vertical stitch of your preferred length


Add a straight stitch either side at a 45° angle

Detached wheatear stitch

Common uses

Can be used in isolation or scattered as a filling stitch.

Embroidery Techniques