How to Hand Embroider Closed Herringbone Stitch

Closed herringbone is a variety of herringbone where the stitch is worked so closely together that it forms a line of crossed stitches. On the back of the fabric it will show a two lines of back stitches so it is also known as Double Backstitch. Another use for this stitch is to work it on sheer or semi sheer fabric to create a style of very subtle and interesting type of embroidery called shadow work.

Normally with forms of herringbone stitch you would work the crosses on the front of the embroidery as a surface stitch but in shadow work you work the stitch on the back and it shows through the fabric. This means the shadow of the work is seen hence the name. When worked in shadow work Closed Herringbone is known as Shadow stitch.

But  you can also use closed herringbone as surface stitch too. It is very useful to define a good strong line or in a border or as part of an edging.

How to hand embroider Closed Herringbone stitch

Closed Herringbone Stitch step 1
This stitch is worked from left to right between two lines. Commence by bringing the needle out on the bottom left-hand side of the line to be worked.

Take the needle up and make a small stitch on the upper line which points to the left, pull the thread through.

Insert the needle on the lower line but have the needle tip emerge  in line with the edge of the edge of the upper stitch (as illustrated) and make a small stitch which points to the left.

Closed Herringbone Stitch step 2Insert the needle on the upper line a little to the right and make a small stitch which points to the left. Have the needle emerge next to the previous stitch. Continue in the manner along the line working each herringbone stitch closely so that is sits right next to the previous stitch.

Closed Herringbone Stitch

I hope you enjoy the stitch

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