Using Straight Stitch in Embroidery

A Guide to Using Straight Stitch in Embroidery

Whether you have just started out making embroidery stitches or you are an experienced embroidery digitizer, the straight stitch will probably be the first stitch that you will learn in your embroidery career. You can use this stitch to create long, straight stitches individually or in groups to form patterns. Here in this blog, we will talk about how to use straight stitch in embroidery. 

Let’s get started.

The straight stitch is popular among all. The interesting part about this stitch is that it can be used on almost every embroidery fabric, including the plain weave. 

Arranged in different groups and patterns, you can use these stitches to make simple designs like flowers and leaves as well as geometric designs. You can also create a textured look in design with this stitch. Or you can play around with this stitch and can create an unlimited number of unique custom embroidery digitizing patterns.

A point to note here is that for some projects like linens and embroidered clothing, make sure that the stitches are not too long as this may cause snagging. A snagged stitch can cause puckering because the previous and next stitch are pulled towards it. Try couching the stitches for long straight lines.

You can start practising on any fabric of your choice like a small cotton square and use the needle size and type appropriate to the fabric.

Things Needed to Make a Straight Stitch in Embroidery

  • Embroidery hoop designed to practice cloth
  • Embroidery needle of size 1 and 5
  • Small sharp scissors
  • Water-soluble marker or a pencil
  • Ruler 
  • A small squared cotton fabric
  • Six-strand embroidery floss


A straight stitch is actually a one up and one down needle motion, regardless of which method you choose for stitching. Each stitch is separated from each other, whether grouped in a pattern or scattered in a design. 

How to Start

If you have just started to stitch, go ahead and play around with the stitches; mark your fabric with different practice lines. Use the material you have; a ruler, a water-soluble pencil or pen where needed.  

Put the fabric in the hoop. Cut a six-strand embroidery floss having a length of 12-14 inch. Thread the floss with the embroidery needle and knot the other hand. 

Working With the Straight Stitch

To start stitching, bring the needle up from the fabric back to the front at the endpoint of any of the short lines. 

  • Get the needle down to the opposite side of the stitch line.
  • Take the needle up to the stitch that is the closest. 
  • Now bring the needle down at the opposite side of the stitch line.

Carry on with your stitching in the same manner and bring the needle up and then take it down to the end of the stitch line. 

Straight stitches working parallel to each other might cause the fabric to pull. To avoid this, try to stabilize the material before stitching.


Making a straight stitch is as easy as pie. It is almost unnecessary to have directions. But a straight stitch is a building block for your embroidery as can work with different patterns to create various styles.

You can create many different designs with different straight stitch lengths; anything from flowers to stars to a horizontal plane formed by the grouping of threads.

Applications and Usage

As said earlier, you can use a straight stitch for a variety of purposes. It is useful to stitch fur on animal motifs. These stitches can be scattered to create a fill. This member is called the seed stitch of the straight stitch family. Keep the stitches in the general direction, so it appears like the fur is growing on an animal. You can do this by changing the stitches angle firmly for a visual appeal. 

You can also use straight stitch extensively in your patterns that will create embroideries having an artistic and sketched look that is both durable and pleasing to the eyes. If you have mastered the skill, you can also create negative spaces using a straight stitch. This stitch can be used in multiple directions, such as animal portraits, landscapes, and beautiful designs. 

Examples and Ideas for Use

With straight stitches, you can do a lot of stuff. Try playing around with it, and you will be amazed by how much you can do with it. If you are working with ribbon embroidery, a single straight stitch is quite bold. It depends on the ribbon you are using, and it makes excellent lavender, flower buds, and bits of foliage. 

Try using straight stitch in different ways as you work with your favourite embroidery patterns. Once you start using it, you will find ways to add your desired texture and dimensions.

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