Pekinese Stitch Tutorial

Pekinese Stitch sample 1Pekinese stitch is also known as Chinese stitch since it is found on Chinese embroideries worked in silk, row upon row sometimes 30-40 stitches to the inch.

Pekinese stitch creates a heavy line which can follow a curve well making it ideal to use as a linear stitch. Pekinese stitch is also great to use as finishing line around the edge of items like fabric postcards, ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) bags, purses, needle books or pin cushions. It works well for anything small that requires a tidy edge.

This stitch can crate a fine line is you use a fine thread. In the sample to the left I hand embroidered a fine line of Pekinese stitch down the middle of rick rack braid using cotton perle #12 threads. The beads are seed beads so it gives you a sense of scale.

How to work Pekinese Stitch.

Start by working a foundation line of back stitch in a loose manner because the threading will tighten the stitches. If you need a refresher on how to work back stitch check out my tutorial on back stitch here

Pekinese Stitch step 1 A second decorative thread is then laced through the line of back stitches. Use a blunt ended tapestry needle to avoid splitting the foundation stitches. As you thread do not pass the needle through the fabric

Work from left to right. Bring your needle out on the bottom left on the line of back stitches. Move along two stitches to slide the needle under the foundation back stitch. With the needle tip pointed towards the top pull your thread through.
Pekinese Stitch step 2

Move back one foundation stitch and slide your needle downwards under the stitch. With the needle tip pointed towards the bottom pull your thread through.
Pekinese Stitch step 3Repeat this lacing process along the line. To create a neat textured line, tighten slightly after each threaded loop is created.

Pekinese Stitch sample 3For extra interest use your imagination with thread choice. Experiment with contrasts of texture and weight. You can lace with fine cord, chainette, rayon ribbon floss, a yarn, or a fine ribbon. In the sample above I have laced using a fine metallic  braid.

Pekinese Stitch sample 2You can also work lines back to back to create an interesting thicker line. In the sample above I worked a foundation row of back stitches in green cotton perle #5 thread then I laced them with a hand dyed cotton perle #5.  I added a third line of back stitch down the middle.

I hope you enjoy this stitch!

Crazy quilt template set 2 Have you seen my Stitchers Templates?

As someone who loves crazy quilting and embroidery I designed these templates with other stitchers in mind. With my templates you can create hundreds of different patterns to apply to your stitching and crazy quilting projects. They are easy to use, totally clear so you can position them easily and they are compact in your sewing box.

Templates set 1 you will find here 
Templates set 2 you will find here 
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38 Responses to Pekinese Stitch Tutorial

  1. Hi Sharon,
    I have been on stitchfree vacation for the the past six weeks. restarting my weekly sampler with pekinese stitch, the details are here-
    Thank you,

  2. leelagovind says:

    hi sharon
    i was too late this time..but i tried to catch is my sampler for pekinese stitch..

  3. Julie says:

    I am back!!! I hope to stay! It has been a rough past 4 months, with losing both my Mom and my Mother in Law! Things are calming down a bit, so I sat down last night and did my Pekinese Stitch! I love it soooo much! How fun!!!
    Here is the link to my attempt:
    Thanks, Sharon!!!!!

  4. Hi, All,
    Nursing my husband who has a bad back, so very late adding my sample!
    Still need to add a couple more details


  5. Ann says:

    This was a fun stitch to learn and I know I’ll use it again in the future:

  6. Bernice O says:

    I enjoyed learning the Pekinese stitch.

  7. Julie JC says:

    Trying to get going again. Here is my post about a Pekinese experience I have had.

  8. Carol Harper says:

    Haven’t gotten around to stitching yet but I did do this stitch once before a long long time ago, on a pillow of my own design: There are three “swirls” and one circle outline in this stitch but until this week, I didn’t know what it was called!

  9. Liz Eph says:

    dear sharon,
    i rather fancied experimenting with texture here. and incorporated a couple of souvenirs, using fine ribbon from my sister, ribbon from a present, and a piece of wire that i rather fancied when my daughter took her old computer to pieces !
    love from liz xx

  10. Annet says:

    I enjoyed experimenting with Pekinese stitches again, I wrote about it on my blog:

  11. Mariainez L. Ribeiro dos Santos says:

    Here´s my weekly work.I enjoyed a lot to do this stitch.
    Thank you

  12. Hi Sharon,
    Lots of false starts with this stitch but in the end I found a way to use it.
    I wrote about the process on my blog,
    And posted an image in the Flickr group
    Have a nice week.

  13. Jeannette says:

    Hi Sharon,

    Here’s a Pekinese stitched sunrise that was fun to do:

  14. Lucy Landry says:

    My weekly sample:
    Sharon, I’ve been enjoying this weekly immersion into stitching tremendously. Thanks so much for sponsoring TAST.

  15. Hi Sharon,
    I am on a visit to India. missed last week’s stitch and started late on this week’s stitch. my trials are on my blog-
    Thank you,

  16. Kathy says:

    Here is my sampler page and a small sample from a few years ago.

  17. Gayle Schipper says:

    This was a new stitch for me, but was great fun to work on. I guess this is where I became a TAST drop out the first 2 times. I WILL make it to the end this time!

  18. Maureen Bond says:

    This is a great stitch. I have better photos of my Tast 1 effort as well as 2 new samples at

    Sharon thank you for the Highlight last week, I just found it today.

  19. Claudia says:

    Hi Sharon and all, the stitch was new for me, I enjoyed trying this stitch. Here is my exercise:

  20. Faith says:

    Here’s mine for this week … so far. I’ll try to read some others later today.

  21. Hi Sharon, lovin this one……had a ball with it !
    You can see my sample here…………………..
    Chris richards

  22. christine says:

    Nice stitch this week! You can see it here:

  23. Laurel says:

    This was the perfect stitch to create a keepsake for some friends who just got married. Thanks, Sharon.

  24. KathrynK in Blacklick says:
  25. I find this stitch easy and interesting.
    Can be view at

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