Pekinese 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.
The stitch creates a heavy line which can follow a curve well, making it ideal to use as a linear stitch. This 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.
Pekinese stitch can create a fine line if 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.
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 backstitch. With the needle tip pointed towards the top pull your thread through.
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.
Repeat this lacing process along the line. To create a neat textured line, tighten slightly after each threaded loop is created.
For 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.
You 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 backstitch down the middle.
I hope you enjoy this stitch!
My book for creative stitchers
If you enjoy my site you will gain real value from my book Creative Stitches for Contemporary Embroidery: Visual Guide to 120 Essential Stitches for Stunning Designs
Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned embroiderer, Creative Stitches for Contemporary Embroidery gives you techniques to encourage and develop a fresh and creative embroidery style. Discover play points in your embroidery. Explore variations in height and width, stacking stitches, or using repetitions of the same stitch to create areas of texture and shape. All these techniques and more will give you creative variations. I have included numerous demonstrations of small tweaks that create big effects. To send you down your own creative path, the book is richly illustrated with plenty of eye candy.
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Me encantan tus trabajos tan laboriosos pero no leo porque hablo español, que bueno que los publiques en español. Saludos desde Venezuela
Her photos don’t need a lot of translations. I hope you join in.
Thanks for reminding me about Pekinese Stitch in this TAST Challenge. My trials are here.
I have been on stitchfree vacation for the the past six weeks. restarting my weekly sampler with pekinese stitch, the details are here-
my Pekinese Stitch:
i was too late this time..but i tried to catch up..here is my sampler for pekinese stitch..
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: http://asucculentlife.blogspot.com/2012/08/tast-pekinese-stitch.html
My sample is here:
Pekinese and Eyelet stitching:
Nursing my husband who has a bad back, so very late adding my sample!
Still need to add a couple more details
This was a fun stitch to learn and I know I’ll use it again in the future:
I enjoyed learning the Pekinese stitch. http://timeusebybernice.wordpress.com/
Trying to get going again. Here is my post about a Pekinese experience I have had.
As usual, I Loved this stitch too! Really fun!
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: http://thatyankstitches.multiply.com/photos/album/2/My-Pre-2001-Stitchery#photo=19 There are three “swirls” and one circle outline in this stitch but until this week, I didn’t know what it was called!
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
I enjoyed experimenting with Pekinese stitches again, I wrote about it on my blog:
Here´s my weekly work.I enjoyed a lot to do this stitch.
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.
Here’s a Pekinese stitched sunrise that was fun to do:
here is my work
My weekly sample:
Sharon, I’ve been enjoying this weekly immersion into stitching tremendously. Thanks so much for sponsoring TAST.
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-
Here is my sampler page and a small sample from a few years ago.
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!
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.
Hi Sharon & Friends!
My post for the week. Thank you all.
Hi Sharon and all, the stitch was new for me, I enjoyed trying this stitch. Here is my exercise: http://stitchinfingers.ning.com/photo/tast33-pekinese-stitch?context=latest
Here’s mine for this week … so far. I’ll try to read some others later today.
Hi Sharon, lovin this one……had a ball with it !
You can see my sample here…………………..
Nice stitch this week! You can see it here: http://6stem5.canalblog.com
My sampler for “Pekinese stitch “.
This was the perfect stitch to create a keepsake for some friends who just got married. Thanks, Sharon.
This was an enjoyable stitch:
Not much time this week — photo is a bit blurry too:
My sample can be found here
Mon point de la semaine; Pekinese stitch.
Stitching even while on holiday in the UK. Twice the fun.
I find this stitch easy and interesting.
Can be view at
I’m so tired of editing, writing and publishing my posts but now I’m only two, TWO stitches behind. Who knew that hard work pays off?
Here are my samplers:
Up And Down Buttonhole
Here’s my weekly post with old Pekinese stitches: