Saturday, January 14, 2012
Stitch of the Week: Chain Stitch
The Chain stitch is a surface embroidery technique that transfers well to canvas work. It creates a textured or knitted look which is perfect for clothing, stems and trunks of flowers and trees, reins for horses or reindeer. It's also useful for outlining and for creating a spiral filling.
A note before you start stitching: It is very important when doing the chain stitch that you maintain a loose and even tension so that your results are consistent and visually appealing. Chain stitch is started at the top of the canvas and proceeds straight down.
When you begin stitching, bring the thread to the front of the canvas and hold it down with the left hand, forming a loop before bringing it to the back side of the canvas through the original hole. Do not pull the thread all the way through. There should be a loop on the front side of the canvas. Re-emerge to the front side of the canvas two to three horizontal threads below your original hole. Then bring your needle up and over the working thread, forming another loop on the front side of the canvas before returning to the backside through the same hole. Repeat.
This stitch is very diverse, and has a few great variations that you can try.
One variation is the Long tailed chain. It is an attractive filling stitch that is started at the top left hand corner and is worked diagonally down and to the right. The main element is worked over two horizontal threads. Tie down the stitch over six horizontal threads. The next stitch is dropped down two horizontal threads and one vertical thread to the right.
Another variation is the Detached chain. A half drop space of four vertical canvas threads is left between individual stitches in a row when they are worked horizontally across the canvas and the stitches in the following row fit exactly between those of the previous row (with a drop of one half the length of the stitch).
I hope you enjoy trying this stitch out. If you try it in one of your projects, send us a photo. We would love to see it!