Ladder hem stitch
- Ladder stitch
Ladder hem stitch is a variation of hem stitch. It produces a wider border than ordinary hem stitch, and it is worked on both upper and lower ends of the vertical threads.
Prior to starting hem stitch, follow one of the drawn thread removal techniques, and then, starting with a waste knot, work two tiny running stitches. Bring your needle up at the bottom left corner two threads below the withdrawn area and then insert it in the withdrawn area, three threads to the right.
Pass the working thread behind the cluster of three fabric threads and back in where it was previously inserted, to wrap the cluster. Pull the wrapping tight and then come up two threads below.
Insert the needle to the right of the next three fabric threads, ready to work the next hem stitch.
Continue until the end of the drawn thread band. For the ‘ladder’ effect, repeat the hem stitch on the other edge of the withdrawn area.
Structure of stitch
Jenny Adin-Christie, Fine whitework (2023) , p.83
Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches (1934) , p.114
Jennifer Campbell, Ann-Marie Bakewell, Guide to Embroidery Stitches (2004) , p.145