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Satin stitch icon
Satin stitch

  • Damask stitch
  • French plumetis stitch
  • Point Passé Stitch
  • Point Perlé Stitch
  • Au Passé Stitch
  • Long stitch
  • Passé stitch
  • Flat stitch

​A series of straight stitches worked parallel to one another to produce a smooth solid filling.

Typically used in monograming, leaves and petals.

The earliest evidence of satin stitch is from Dunhuang in China, dated to the second half of the 1st century AD.  By the start of the 2nd millennium in China it was the predominant stitch and it has retained a central role in Chinese embroidery.

It has been part of the tradition of (predominantly European) whitework since at the least the 12th century: firstly within Opus Teutonicum, and then later Dresden, Ayrshire, Schwalm, Hedebo/Baldyring, Hardanger and shadow work.

More widely it was used in Opus Anglicanum; in Khaarek embroidery from Kutch in western India; 19th century Chinai work (Chinese-influenced embroidery in India); in Sozni embroidery from Kashmir which creates the same design on both sides of the fabric; in Sweden using shaded wools; and in Hungarian Virágozás which decorates animal fleeces with silk thread.

Satin stitch is generously sponsored by Patricia Young

Method

1

To achieve a crisp neat edge, complete a split stitch outline on the shape to be filled (optional).  Your stitches should be approximately 3mm long.

2

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

3

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

4

Then 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.

5

Continue to fill the other side of the shape.

Satin stitch

Variant Stitches

Identifying Satin stitch

A satin stitch will have a split stitch outline hidden under the edge of the smooth parallel surface stitches. The split stitch edge is to help ensure a crisp outline which acts as a foundation wall and prevents nibbled edges.

References

Examples of Satin stitch from the RSN Collection

Purificator (2), RSN Collection No. 2079

The grapes are sections of satin stitch.

Purificator (2), RSN Collection No. 2079

The central letters IHS are in satin stitch.

Triptych 2, RSN Collection No. 587