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Padded satin stitch (split stitch padding) icon
Padded satin stitch (split stitch padding)

  • Raised satin stitch
  • French plumetis stitch
Padded satin stitch (split stitch padding) main image

Padded satin stitch is a satin stitch with padding underneath the stitching to create a raised motif.  This technique catches the light, particularly in monochrome embroidery.

This method of padding uses split stitch, and it is usually best used for long, narrow, curved shapes.  This method can also be worked using running stitch.  For an alternative method and more background see the entry for Padded satin stitch (laid work padding).

Dedicated to Mary Hickmott


Be careful to keep a smooth surface on the padding to support the satin stitch. As the layers are built up gradually, it allows for variation within one shape.
You can work as many layers as you like, varying them according to the width of the shape and the desired height of the padding.


Outline your shape with split stitch.
Keep your stitches small (approximately 3-4mm) and the line as neat as possible as this will dictate the shape of your satin stitch shape.


Starting within the outlined shape work back and forth with rows of split stitch. Use stitches that are longer than those used for the outline. A thicker thread may be used.


Fill the shape with rows of split stitch.


Add further layers of split stitch over the first layer until you have as much padding as you require.


Beginning halfway along one side, bring the needle up just outside the split stitch outline. Hold the thread to set the angle of the first stitch and take the needle down accordingly, just outside the split stitch.

Bring the needle up on the first side, very close to the first stitch. Make a second stitch, angling the needle towards the previous stitch and towards the split stitch.


Work outwards towards the end of the shape.


Begin again in the middle. This time bring the needle up on the other side of the shape, and angle the needle towards the previous stitch as before.


Continue working the satin stitch towards the opposite corner until the shape is complete.


Padded satin stitch may be finished from the front by threading the needle under the satin stitch from the finishing point of the stitch.

Padded satin stitch (split stitch padding)

Structure of stitch


  • S. F. A. Caulfeild, Blanche C. Saward, The Dictionary of Needlework (1882) , p.192
  • Various Authors, The Royal School of Needlework Book of Embroidery (2018) , p.331

Examples of Padded satin stitch (split stitch padding)

RSN Diploma Piece, RSN Collection No. 575