Back Stitch Embroidery

Back Stitch Embroidery is one of the easiest and simple kinds of work. It is a simple outline embroidery which means there is not need for any filling stitches or, for that matter, any other stitch than the back stitch.

Care should be taken that the stitches remain even. This is what gives the embroidery its beauty - the simplicity of line and the regularity of the stitches.

The following information about this embroidery is from The Dictionary of Needlework: An Encyclopedia of Artistic, Plain and Fancy Needlework. 1887, by S.F.A. Caulfeild and Blanche C. Saward 1887. It has been edited for use on this site.

As this is considered such a simple type of embroidery, very little instruction is given.


Back Stitch Embroidery Instruction

back stitch embroidery on leather

Fig. 1
Click on picture to see more detail.

This embroidery is one of the simplest kinds of work.

To Work: Trace the design upon fine leather, silk, satin, cloth, or linen materials, and then follow it with Back Stitch round every line; no filling in of patter is necessary, as the work is done in outline.

The illustration above (Fig. 1) shows the back stitching upon leather. The illustration below (Fig. 2) shows the back stitching upon silk. Both are good samples of Backstitch embroidery.

back stitch embroidery on silk

Fig. 2
Click on picture to see more detail.

This work is now often done with the sewing machine, and can be brought by this means to great perfection.


Below is a sample of Backstitch Embroidery copied from a priest's stole of the 17th century. This was copied from the same source as above. No other information on the priest's stole was given, other than the following:

Backstitch Embroidery (copied from a priest's stole). - The foundation is of fine linen, and the design worked in crimson silks, with Backstitch and Buttonhole. The work is suitable for a table order.

Please note: both "backstitch" and "back stitch" were used in this volume interchangeably.

back stitch embroidery - 17th Century Priest's stole

Priest's Stole
Click on picture to see more detail.


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