How to hand embroider Satin Stitch

Satin Stitch sample 1Satin stitch which is also known as damask stitch is one of the oldest embroidery stitches found and it is worked on traditional embroideries in practically every country of the globe. Traditional embroiderers of China and Japan excelled in the use of this stitch yet it is quite a simple stitch as it is created by working straight stitches close together. When done well this stitch is just sumptuous.

Satin Stitch sample 4To use satin stitch to advantage stitches should lie evenly and closely together. You need to have them covering the fabric but not work on top of each other. They do take a little practice to achieve the best effect but they are worth it. As you can see Satin stitch will  play well together with other stitches. This sample is worked on 26 cnt linen in a mix of threads which include #5 cotton perle, wool, 3 strands of stranded floss and silk.

How to embroider Satin Stitch

step by step how to work satin stitch1To work the stitch bring the thread up through the fabric and make a single straight stitch.

step by step how to work satin stitch 2Bring the needle out very close to the stitch just made and continue to fill the shape.

step by step how to work satin stitch 3Tension can be an issue for some people. If the stitches too slack that they sag or too tight that they pucker the fabric use an embroiderers hoop. This stitch is really only suitable to cover small areas as long satin stitches can become loose, can snag and become untidy. If holding a curved edge neatly is difficult using outlined satin stitch is often the solution.

If you need to cover a larger area, divide the shape into smaller section working rows of Satin stitch to fill each area. The other alternative is to use long and short stitch or depending upon the design you can always think in terms of a patterned filling stitch.

Satin Stitch sample 9

You can easily learn and practice Satin stitch on even weave fabrics. You can build up patterns using simple stitches. This is an example of satin stitch worked in a hand space dyed cotton perle #5 thread. I worked them in a simple zig zag pattern and then defined diamond shaped boxes in back stitch before adding a bead.

Satin Stitch sample 10 You can also work Satin stitches in freeform manner. In this case I have worked the embroidery on a hand painted cotton background using mainly cotton threads.

Satin Stitch sample 5

In this next sample I used patches of stain stitches worked in wool and mixed with French knots in order to create an interesting texture.

Satin Stitch sample 7

Pulled Satin Stitch

Pulled Satin stitch is exactly the same stitch as regular satin except after each stitch you give the thread a little tug and pull it tight so that the stitch ‘pulls’ the fabric and condenses the warp and/or weft of the thread. This technique will only work if you use a fabric such a linen. I usually use a even weave linen of about 26 count. Other counts regularly used are 28 to 36 count. Regular fabrics with tight weave and fabrics such as Aida that are woven to prevent puckering will not work.

Pulled Satin Stitch sample 3An example of Pulled satin can be seen in the top right hand corner of this piece. The horizontal lines are created using hand space dyed threads of silk, wool and perle cotton #8 and #5. In this case I just pulled each stitch as I worked it.

Pulled satin stitch sample1In the case of this design the vertical lines are also pulled satin stitches. Below is a close up, as you can see I pulled some stitches tighter than others in order to create a pattern.

Pulled satin stitch sample 2

Other forms and varieties of of Satin stitch are
Padded Satin Stitch
Raised Satin stitch is also known as outlined Satin stitch
Diagonal Satin stitch

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81 Responses to How to hand embroider Satin Stitch

  1. I have done my satin stitch onto paper – my challenge for the project.
    Sandy in the UK

  2. Hi Sharon, I am working on my satin stitch sampler now.
    my blog-
    thank you,

  3. vero says:

    je viens de finir mon point merci

  4. crazypatch says:

    Juste quelques points de satin pour cette 14 ème semaine.

  5. Andi says:

    This week’s satin stitch adventures blogged –
    Sorry, no photos – haven’t got everything up and running again after a major computer crash. 🙁

  6. I’m a bit late posting due to the Easter break but here’s my blog post about my satin stitch samples:
    I found it difficult knowing what to do but I think I came up with something that’s different for me and so will be useful.

  7. Today I posted a couple of satin stitch examples on my blog, see

  8. Julie says:

    I finished my Satin Stitch challenge yesterday. Not one of my favorite stitches, to be sure. But I sure do seem to do a lot of it!

    I have two posts about my experience with Satin Stitch at:

  9. Dianne says:

    Satin stitch required a lot of my patience and it took me almost the whole week and late nights to finish the sample. I have blogged about it here:
    and put it up on Stitchin’ Fingers here:
    Now I have fallen in love with satin stitch..

  10. SusieW says:

    I have posted my satin stitch sample on my flicker site. You can view it here . I also posted my alternating barred chain stitch sample, so I’m now back on schedule.

  11. Sharon, I already posted my Satin stitch samples, but I remember my oldest sample, this is my almost first embroidery at all 🙂 so, I don’t know what type of stitches is there. is it satin stitch? have a look

    thank you!

  12. Bonjour Sharon ,

    Voici mon exercice pour cette 14 ème semaine :
    Belles fêtes de Pâques

  13. Here is my Satin stitching for this week. Thanks for stopping by!

  14. I followed Mary Corbet’s tip and outlined each shape before satin stitching and found that really helped keep my edges even. Hope you enjoy my little world!

  15. Brigitte Otto says:

    I’ve just uploaded my satin stitch sample to stitchin fingers:

  16. Lucy Landry says:

    It took me nearly all week, but I’ve finished my satin stitch piece.

  17. Jenny says:

    I have posted my TAST Week 14 samples on my blog at:

    Also, last week I posted a photo of all of my samples so far, both the two samplers stitched on linen and the small free embroidery pieces. You can see them here:

  18. Rose says:

    I am actually posting on time normally I’m late and lately I’ve been very late! I have posted my samplers on Facebook, Flickr, and Stitchin Fingers and now I have finally posted a blog! I’ve added more than just the satin stitch to the blog. Thanks for looking (and commenting!)

  19. Debbie says:

    My Satin stitch images – I need more practice to get the edges even:

  20. Arlene says:

    Here’s my satin stitch (if I’ve found the right place) as well as stitches I couldn’t blog about until I bought a new camera.

  21. Severine Allais says:

    My post for the satin stitch is on:
    and on: http: //
    Happy Easter for everyone

  22. 1st attempt at Satin stitch! Took a long time complete, but fascinating. The kind of stitch that would take even longer to perfect!
    Also a bit about my mini-challenge for week 13

  23. Pippa says:

    Here is my sample of satin stitch a lot harder than it looks I will practice some more later.

  24. Ms Sharma says:

    I am not comfortable with this stitch. This requires lot of concentration and all the stitches should be, neat and precise. I have posted one of my old works and also work done by the artisans of Bengal on cotton saris:
    However I will give it a try and see. Please do visit my blog for the beautiful work done by the artisans from Bengal.

  25. queeniepatch says:

    It was was pleasant to start up with the Satin stitch after the break. In Tokyo the cherry trees are in bloom and that inspired my work.

  26. libbyQ says:

    i know the satin stitch but don’t use it very often so it was good to practice.
    i’ve stitched something special onto the wonderful husband’s stocking . . .

    thank you Sharon~!


  27. Luiz Vaz says:

    Hi Friends, my post for week 14. Happy Easter for Everyone

  28. TAHON THERESE says:

    ce site ma l’air plus claire, il faut juste s’habituer pour retrouver les rubriques.
    Vous pourez trouver mon travail de la 14 eme semaine à cette adresse

  29. Beth B says:

    My attempt at satin stitch. It was difficult to keep the edges neat and smooth in the curves!

  30. Annet says:

    It’s a very busy week, but I managed to stitch a small sample:

  31. Claudia says:

    Here is my attempt on satin stitch<:

    Happy Easter to all stitching ladies!

  32. Gayle S. says:

    I just uploaded my Satin Stitch sampler to my Flickr page.

  33. Ty.Jecyka says:

    Here is my satin stitch for Week 14:

    Thanks a lot for this stitch how makes me a lot of pleasure of creativity!

  34. Ann says:

    Here are a few attempts at the satin stitch. I’m not sure why I found this stitch so difficult. Here’s a few samples of what I tried and how I incorporated it in my embroidery journal:

  35. Debbie says:

    Here’s the link to my blog post for Week 14, Satin stitch:

  36. Diane says:

    The big picture of my stitching sampler. The satin is on a polka-dot over to the left. A closer view is included, too.

  37. This week’s stitch 🙂

    I love satin stitch, but it needs a lot of practice to do it well.

  38. Savitha says:

    Hi friends,
    I have posted my Satin stitch design on my Blog.
    I hope you all will like it

  39. Savitha says:

    Hi Friends,
    I have posted my Satin stitch for this week. I hope you all will like it.
    Thank you

  40. Christina says:
    My (first) attempt for this week. Nice stitch for traditional work, going to try something less traditional next.

  41. this is my sample. I can say it was not so easy as I thought looking the pictures here! 🙂 but I tried something…

  42. KathrynK in Blacklilck says:
  43. Karrin Hurd says:

    I forgot to add my site:

  44. Karrin Hurd says:

    This week’s satin stitch coincided with this week’s lesson on satin stitch in beading in the the class I have been taking by Nancy Eha. So I am showing my example of beading satin stitch in my wisteria example

  45. Hello ! Here is my little exercise around the satin stitch

  46. Barb Suess says:

    That week off really helped me to catch up with embroidery on my huge sampler temari ball.

  47. Mariainez L. Ribeiro dos Santos says:
  48. Sue says:

    My very first try at doing satin stitching. Done on a CQ block for a RR. I love this stitch, but had never tried it before because it looked so intimidating. Definitely enjoyed this week’s challenge!

    Love your new website too.

  49. Angela says:

    I haven’t done the satin stitch in many years! I created a simple heart you can see here

  50. Christine T says:

    Hi Sharon, you can see mi embroidery here :
    When I was young I realize this !

  51. I’ve caught up! YAY! The samples (and they are just bare samples) for weeks 11 and 12 I worked afresh as they were new to me, but I confess to having show-cased some older things for satin stitch. Here they are:

    Congrats on the successful blog move, Sharon! I’m glad I’m content with the Blogger service, I don’t fancy moving mine. Still, who knows how I’ll feel later on??=)

  52. Brigitte Otto says:

    Just uploaded my barred chain stitch sample (late) and am up to satin stitch.

  53. Sandy Jandik says:

    I posted my sample on my blog Thanks for showing me that satin stitch can be fun.

  54. Urist says:

    I finished a more complex piece this week and incorporated my TAST stitches into it. I wanted to complete week 14 and catch up by adding week 2 as well, and this piece has both buttonhole stitch (berwick) and satin stitch.

    Ahem. It also has backstitch, french knots, barred chains, wheat-ear, feather, cast-on and a couple others, but I digress.

    I’m going to try and use the TAST stitches in pieces like this from now on, so I can learn to incorporate them into more complex work.

  55. Christine says:

    Here my little satin stitch embroidery. Have a nice week!!!

  56. Christine says:

    Here, my little satin stitch embroidery!

  57. konnykards says:

    I have avoided this stitch over the years as I find difficulty keeping it even and smooth.
    However I still have a sample, from the 1950’s, on a worn small tablecloth – it was bought with the design of scattered flowers already printed on:
    I may not keep up with the challenge for a while as I’m booked to have my long awaited spine op next Tuesday – will it work and how long before I’m ‘back in action’ I ask myself?
    Whatever, I’ll keep admiring the wonderful creative work of all here. Connie. UK

  58. Hobby Sewer says:

    Here are my samples for satin stitch.

    I will upload few more in the next two days.

  59. Annet says:

    Here’s my weekly post with old stitches before I start stitching again:

  60. sharonb says:

    Hi Margreet you should be able to print Ok I have just tried it in Chrome, Firefox and Safari – I dont use explorer because I am on Mac but it should work

  61. Marie says:

    Yay, satin stitch! I need to practice this one.

  62. JoWynn Johns says:

    This new site is looking good, Sharon. Welcome to WordPress!

  63. margreet says:

    Hello, I used to print the stitches weekly, for week #14 I can’t print this.
    Is this something new since last time ?
    Smiles Margreet.

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