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Rosette chain stitch icon
Rosette chain stitch

  • Bead edging
  • Bead edging stitch
  • Braid stitch
Rosette chain stitch main image

This stitch is a more elaborate version of twisted chain stitch where the stitches lie at a different angle from other chain stitches.  If it is worked in a line, the stitches are parallel to each other; if it is worked in a circle, they radiate out from a central point.

Rosette chain stitch has been used under various names for several centuries.  It features on a 16th century Italian embroidered border currently held by the Cooper Hewitt museum in New York, and on a 17th century embroidered panel currently held by the Art Institute of Chicago.  Texts from the early 20th century and earlier tend to refer to the stitch as bead edging stitch or braid stitch whereas Mary Thomas’s seminal 1934 Dictionary of Stitches features it as rosette chain stitch with an alternative name of bead edging stitch.

Rosette chain stitch is generously sponsored by Worshipful Company of Needlemakers

Method

The instructions are given for working this stitch on an evenweave fabric, as an alternative draw two parallel guidelines and imitate the spacing given.

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1

Draw or visualise two parallel guidelines and bring your thread up on the top line at the right hand end.

2

Leave a loop on the surface with your working thread uppermost and take your needle down slightly ahead along the same guideline.

3

Bring your needle up on the bottom guideline fractionally back from where it went down. Your needle should come up inside the loop of thread.  Tighten your thread against the needle.

4

Pull your thread through but do not pull it too tight, then slide your needle under the first ‘leg’ of the chain stitch.

5

This completes your first rosette chain stitch.

6

Leave a loop on the surface with your working thread uppermost and take your needle down on the top guideline a stitch’s width along from where it came up.

7

Bring your needle up on the bottom guideline, fractionally back from where it went down and slide your thread under the thread which links to the previous stitch.  Continue in this way.

8

To finish, take the thread down on the top guideline.

Rosette chain stitch

Structure of stitch

Embroidery Techniques

References

  • Mrs Archibald Christie, Samplers and Stitches (1921) , p.45–6
  • Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches (1934) , p.39-40
  • Anchor Embroidery, 100 Embroidery Stitches
  • Jennifer Campbell, Ann-Marie Bakewell, Guide to Embroidery Stitches (2004)
  • Sarah Whittle, The Needlecraft Stitch Directory (2012)
  • '16th century Italian border', Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Available at: https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18444525/ (Accessed: 08 February 2023)
  • 'C17 Italian panel with figures of three continents', Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Available at: https://www.artic.edu/artworks/183402/panel-with-the-figures-of-three-continents (Accessed: 08 February 2023)
  • W.G. Paulson Townsend, Louisa F. Pesel, Walter Crane, Embroidery or the Craft of the Needle (1907) , p.260-1
  • Every Womans Encyclopaedia Vol IV , p.2560