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Scroll stitch icon
Scroll stitch

  • Single knotted line stitch
Scroll stitch main image

This surface stitch consists of a line interspersed with small knots.  It has similarities with coral stitch, but the working method is subtly different which results in a wavy rather than a straight line in between the knots.

Scroll stitch was certainly in existence by the early 20th century as it features in stitch books from that era.

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If using this as a filling stitch, the rows can all be worked from left to right, or worked by alternating the direction. If the latter, the direction of stitching and the slant of the diagonal stitch should be reversed.

For a more densely filled area, work the stitches with a space in between them and the rows offset so that the stitches fit between those of the previous row.

This works best in a relatively heavy thread which keeps its shape.


Bring your needle up at the left hand end of your design line, and throw your thread forward.


Form a loop, keeping your working thread uppermost and take your needle down inside the loop, just above the design line.


Bring your needle up just below the design line and slightly back from where it went down.  Pull your thread taut against your needle.


Pull your thread through to complete your first scroll stitch.


Repeat steps 1-3 to continue forming scroll stitches.


A completed line of scroll stitches.

Scroll stitch

Structure of stitch

Embroidery Techniques

Related Stitches

Identifying Scroll stitch

This stitch is similar to coral stitch as they are both simple line stitches interspersed with small knots.  The most notable distinction is that the thread between the knots in scroll stitch forms a curve, rather than a straight line.


  • Mrs Archibald Christie, Samplers and Stitches (1921) , p.36
  • Kate Haxell, The Stitch Bible (2012) , p.41
  • Jennifer Campbell, Ann-Marie Bakewell, Guide to Embroidery Stitches (2004) , p.61
  • Sarah Whittle, The Needlecraft Stitch Directory (2012) , p.106
  • Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches (1934) , p.181
  • Barbara Snook, Barbara Snook’s Embroidery Stitches (1963) , p.34
  • Anne Butler, The Batsford Encyclopaedia of Embroidery stitches (1979) , p.18