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Hem stitch (Drawn Thread) icon
Hem stitch (Drawn Thread)

  • Spoke stitch

This stitch is a drawn thread stitch where the edge of the open area is embellished with back and overcast stitches.  It can be used in conjunction with other drawn thread stitches.

Hem stitch (Drawn Thread) is generously sponsored by Mary Janet Kepher

Method

We have counted two threads in the method below, but you could use three or even four for a different effect.
If you want to embellish only one edge of the open area, withdraw fewer threads so that the open area is narrower.

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Hem stitch (Drawn Thread) method stage 1 photograph
1

Prepare for hem stitch by following one of the drawn thread removal techniques.

Hem stitch (Drawn Thread) method stage 2 photograph
2

Cast on in one corner of the overwoven end, count two threads along and bring the needle up in the open area.
Go back over the same two threads and take the needle down.

Hem stitch (Drawn Thread) method stage 3 photograph
3

Count two threads along and bring the needle up in the same place as before.

Count two threads into the undisturbed fabric and take the needle down.

Hem stitch (Drawn Thread) method stage 4 photograph
4

Count two threads along and bring the needle up in the open section.

Hem stitch (Drawn Thread) method stage 5 photograph
5

Count two threads back and take the needle down, bringing it back up in the original place.

Pull the thread tight to draw the threads together.

Hem stitch (Drawn Thread) method stage 6 photograph
6

Count into the fabric by two threads and take the needle down, while holding the thread tight. This acts as a holding stitch to keep the threads gathered.

Hem stitch (Drawn Thread) method stage 7 photograph
7

Continue all along one edge until the end, fastening off in the overwoven end.

Hem stitch (Drawn Thread) method stage 8 photograph
8

Repeat hem stitch along the upper edge.

Hem stitch (Drawn Thread) method stage 9 photograph
9

A finished sample of hem stitch.

Hem stitch (Drawn Thread)

Structure of stitch

Common uses

Hem stitch is very useful for borders and may be worked on both sides of drawn threads, or just on one side for different effects.

Embroidery Techniques

Variant Stitches

Related Stitches

References

  • S. F. A. Caulfield, Blanche C. Saward, The Dictionary of Needlework (1882) , p.184
  • Mrs Archibald Christie, Samplers and Stitches (1921) , p.104–5
  • Mary Thomas, Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches (1934) , p.111–2