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Seeding stitch icon
Seeding stitch

  • Seed stitch
  • Speckling stitch
  • Isolated back stitch
  • Powdering

​Small straight stitches are worked in random directions for this stitch, giving the appearance of scattered seeds.

Varying the density of stitches you work over the area can produce effective shading - the more stitches, the darker the area. Working in parallel pairs makes the stitches easier to see from a distance which is perfect for larger scale embroideries.

Seeding stitch was one of those used by the ancient Egyptians and has featured in many embroidery traditions since then: a 16th century sampler, a mid 17th century embroidery picture of Charles I and Charles II (both pieces held by the Victoria and Albert Museum); 18th century crewel New England bed curtains all feature seeding stitch.

Seeding also features in Rabat embroidery, a technique dating back to 17th century Morocco, and Guimaraes embroidery, a 19th century technique from northern Portugal, and Rice embroidery a whitework tradition popular in north America and western Europe.

Seeding stitch is generously sponsored by Fran Orfino



Working stitches in random directions, fill the area by making tiny straight stitches, each approximately 1 to 2mm long.


Pack the stitches closely together for a dense appearance.


Spread the stitches further away from each other to create lighter shading.

Seeding stitch

Structure of stitch

Related Stitches

Identifying Seeding stitch

Small, single isolated stitches either found in parallel pairs or randomly stitched in different directions within a shape to form a detached but effective shading and filling effect.


Examples of Seeding stitch