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Pekinese stitch icon
Pekinese stitch

  • Chinese stitch
  • Forbidden stitch
  • Blind stitch
  • Peking Stitch

Pekinese stitch consists of a line of back stitch with a second thread looping through it.

Pekinese stitch is credited as originating in and being very common in China, but there is no evidence for it there prior to 1900; the Chinese Mandarin squares which feature it all date from the early 20th century.  It is used as a filling stitch, particularly on late Ch’ing squares.

Pekinese stitch is generously sponsored by Louise Kroeze

Method

It is traditionally used in Chinese Embroidery with silk thread on silk fabric. Stitched using two threads, one to lay the base of back stitch and another to form the loops woven to it. Pekinese stitch enjoys varying effects depending the size of the back stitch, the tension of the loops and the materials used.  An attractive embellishment to the back stitch, useful for outlines and borders, Pekinese stitch is fun to work and can give a softer appearance to an austere line.

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1

Stitch a line of back stitch, then bring your needle up just below the start of your line and swap for a tapestry needle.

2

Weave the needle upward between the loop of the next back stitch and the surface of the fabric.

3

Weave the needle downward under the previous loop and over the Pekinese thread.

4

Repeat by weaving the needle upward under the backstitch two stitches ahead, then downward under the previous loop and over the Pekinese thread.

5

Try to keep each loop of the Pekinese stitch equal in size by tightening each loop as it is produced, and continuing along the backstitch.

Pekinese stitch

Structure of stitch

Stitched using two threads, one to lay the base of Back stitch and another to form the loops woven to it.

Embroidery Techniques

It is traditionally used in Chinese Embroidery with silk thread on silk fabric.

References

  • Mrs Archibald Christie, Samplers and Stitches (1921) , p.67–8
  • Mary Thomas, Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches (1934) , p.13
  • Jacqui McDonald, RSN Essential Stitch Guides: Crewelwork (2010) , p.61
  • Schuyler Cammann. (1962) 'Embroidery Techniques in Old China', Archives of the Chinese Art Society of America pp.16-40. Available at: https://www.jstor.org/stable/20067040

Examples of Pekinese stitch from the RSN Collection

Turquoise silk collar, RSN Collection No. 112

Pekinese stitch used both as an outline and to fill areas of the design