clear navigate_before

Tapered trailing icon
Tapered trailing

Tapered trailing stitch is worked in the same way as trailing stitch, only it is tapered. With this method you can start with any number of core threads and work down to none.

Tapered trailing is generously sponsored by Maureen Myall


Tapered trailing method stage 1 photograph

Begin working your trailing stitches (see stitch entry ‘Trailing stitch’ for more information and method). To gradually taper the line, separate the core threads (with floche you can divide the strands).
Lift the top threads out of the way and carefully snip a few of the strands closest to the fabric.

Tapered trailing method stage 2 photograph

Continue to stitch over the remaining core threads, making sure no fluff shows where the threads were cut.

Tapered trailing method stage 3 photograph

Repeat the trimming process as many times as necessary.
Finish stitching to the end of the line, angling the needle out from under the core threads and back underneath then with each stitch.

Tapered trailing method stage 4 photograph

If the trailing finishes away from any other stitching, turn to the back to cast off. Run the needle underneath the last few stitches, pull the thread through and trim.

Tapered trailing method stage 5 photograph

On the back, trim the core threads as close as possible to the fabric so that no shadows will show on the front. Trim each thread individually for the neatest result.

Structure of stitch

Embroidery Techniques


  • Various Authors, The Royal School of Needlework Book of Embroidery (2018) , p.333