Stitch Terms

1: Running Stitch (Walking Stitch) – A series of stitches one after another, along a straight or curved line. Usually used to outline an area or to create detail, it is usually done twice for better definition.

2: Satin Stitch (Column Stitch) – This is a series of parallel stitches similar to a zigzag stitch except every other stitch is at a 90-degree angle. It is called a satin stitch because of the smooth shiny appearance it creates.

3: Zigzag – This is similar to a satin except each parallel stitch moves forward instead of every other stitch dropping straight down & then the next one moving over. Using a zigzag stitch (or a satin stitch) with the stitching spread out is excellent for tacking down appliqués.

4: Stheil – A satin or zigzag stitch less than 3 millimeters wide often under 2.5 millimeters wide. It is used for very small lettering or for thin borders around a filled area.

5: Underlay – These are stitches laid down as a foundation to secure the backing to the garment & prevent stretching or to keep stitches from sinking down into the fabric. It can also be used to build an area up for a raised effect.

6: Slat or Shrag – A column stitch that lays on a diagonal.

7: Blatt Stitch – This is a term applied to a wide zigzag or satin stitch that is usually between 5 & 12 millimeters wide.

8: Bean Stitch – This stitch is similar to a running stitch except it has three strands of threads in each hole. Stitching forward, back, forward, & then repeating it along a line accomplish this.

9: Cross Stitch – Two stitches that cross at the center axis & look like an X.

10: Fill Stitch (Gefleclt) – A series of lines of stitching laying side by side that fill an area with stitches. By varying the penetration points a variety of patterns can be created. If the stitches are placed closely side by side (heavy density) you can get a solid coverage, but with a very light density you can get what is known as trapunto where the fabric shows through & get a shading effect.

11: Jump Stitch – This is a stitch that jumps form one area to another & is usually trimmed away. You would find this where you wouldn’t want to leave a line of stitches going from one area to another because they would show on the final design.

12: Peco – A short single stitch that jumps out away from a straight line & returns to the point it jumped from.

13. Lock Stitch – A series of 4 or 5 stitches crossing over each other to secure the end of the embroidery so it doesn’t pull out & unravel.

14. Interlock Stitch – This basically three or more rows of satin stitches
overlapping one another.

15. Trapunto – This is a fill stitch done with a very light density that can produce an embossed effect on a fleece garment, or when used over an existing fill can produce a shadow effect. On open areas it gives an effect similar to shading in a pen & ink drawing. It is a good way to give the illusion of color without incurring a high stitch count.