clear navigate_before

Leaf stitch (canvaswork) icon
Leaf stitch (canvaswork)

  • Fir stitch

This is a canvaswork filling stitch consisting of straight stitches fanning out from a central line in a leaf shape.

Leaf stitch (canvaswork) is generously sponsored by Edmonton Needlecraft Guild


Leaf stitch creates a large stitch motif that can be worked alone or as a pattern . It is particularly good for large foliage and texture.


Begin with a slanted stitch across one and down three canvas threads. Make a second slanted stitch to mirror the first, into the same hole.


Beginning one thread above the previous stitches, make a straight stitch over four canvas threads and down into the same canvas hole as the two previous stitches.


Now work the right-hand side of the leaf. Come up one intersection down and across from the top end of the slanted stitch and take the needle down one canvas thread below the lower centre point of the leaf (the hole below the one shared by the first three stitches).


Next, bring the needle up a further canvas intersection down and across from this stitch and make a stitch across three canvas intersections.


Make two similar stitches below the first in the same way.


Work the left-hand side of the leaf in the same way.


Work in horizontal rows, fitting the next row into the spaces of the first. For positioning of the stitch it is easiest to work the rows top to bottom. Make sure that you tuck the ends of the stitches under the last stitch of the previous row.

Leaf stitch (canvaswork)

Structure of stitch

Embroidery Techniques


  • Rachel Doyle, RSN Essential Stitch Guides: Canvaswork (2013) , p.66
  • Various Authors, The Royal School of Needlework Book of Embroidery (2018) , p.113