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Slip stitch icon
Slip stitch

  • Invisible ladder stitch
  • Ladder Stitch
Slip stitch main image

Slip stitch is a useful hidden stitch for applying one fabric to another invisibly or attaching two fabrics together

Unsurprisingly, given its eminently functional nature, slip stitch has been used for thousands of years.  Excavations in the Sinai desert in the Middle East have found textiles from the 9th-8th centuries BCE which feature the stitch.

Slip stitch is generously sponsored by Mrs M Cadbury


You may find a curved needle makes this stitch easier.


Fold the top fabric and create a crease along the folded edge. Thread a curved needle with your choice of thread and tie a knot in the end.


Secure with two holding stitches in the base fabric hidden under the edge of the top fabric.


When creating the second holding stitch, ensure to bring the needle out of the base fabric in line with the creased folded edge of the top fabric.


Draw the thread through to the surface


Lay the thread onto the top fabric at 90º to the crease and take the needle into the crease just behind the laid thread.


Bring the needle out further along the crease.


Draw the thread through, lay the thread on the base fabric at 90º to the folded crease, take the curved needle through the base fabric just behind the laid thread and out a little further along in line with the creased edge.
Aim to achieve an equal stitch length to the previous stitch


Repeat the last few steps to stitch the two fabrics together.


Every two to four stitches pull on the thread with increased tension to straighten the path of the thread and close the gap between the two threads, this should hide the thread to achieve invisible stitches.
Don’t forget to cut off the waste knot from the holding stitches.

Slip stitch

Structure of stitch

Common uses

Embroidery Techniques


  • Gay Eaton, Wessex Stitchery (2000)
  • Avigail Sheffer.Amalia Tidhar. (1991) 'Textiles and Basketry at Kuntillat ‘Ajrud', Atiqot pp.1-26 . Available at: