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.
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
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.
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 back stitch down the middle.
I hope you enjoy this stitch!
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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.
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