Crested chain stitch is versatile and can be worked on both even weave and plain fabrics. I used this stitch to outline the paisley pattern on this Fabric postcard.
My tip is that when you first learn this stitch use a twisted thread, such as pearl cotton, as it is easy to handle and holds the shape of the stitch well.
When the stitches are worked closely together Crested Chain Stitch produces a braided line, which is highly decorative and lends itself to loads of variations. If you work crested chain with the side knots spread out as you work it produces a light, lacy appearance. This is a great stitch to use in freeform embroidery as you can change its height and/or spacing to create an interesting textured line.
How to work Crested Chain Stitch
Work this stitch downwards across two imaginary parallel lines.
First, work a small chain stitch at the top right-hand side of the fabric.
To do this bring the needle through from the back of the fabric and hold the thread with the left thumb. Insert the needle back into where it first came out.
Take the needle through the fabric bringing the point of the needle out along the line. With the thread wrapped under the needle point pull the needle through the fabric.
This is the first chain stitch.
Take the needle to the left and enter the fabric on a parallel line to the chain stitch.
When you are learning this stitch, make this step quite wide in order to see what you are doing, then, as you master the stitch, close the width between the two parallel lines if you like.
Take a small bite of the fabric and with the needle pointed downwards Take the thread ACROSS THE TOP of the needle and then wrap it under the needle.
At this stage it should look like the illustration.
Pull the needle through the fabric.
If the thread flips up, hold it down flat with your left thumb.
The next step tightens the knot to create the crest.
Slide the needle under the centre thread.
Do not pierce the fabric at this step as you are just going under the thread bar.
Pull the needle through.
At this stage the partly worked stitch should look like this.
The next stage…
The next stage is to repeat the process. So you are going to make a second chain stitch.
Insert the needle inside the first chain stitch.
Take the needle through the fabric bringing the point of the needle out a short space along the line to be stitched.
With the thread wrapped under the needle’s point, pull the needle through the fabric.
This is the second chain stitch.
At this stage, it should look like the illustration.
Once again move to the left and take a small bite of the fabric and with the needle pointed downwards.
Take the thread ACROSS THE TOP of the needle and then wrap it under the needle.
Pull the needle through. Slide the needle under the centre thread.
Do not pierce the fabric at this step you are just going under the thread bar.
Pull the needle through and continue downwards along the line. Take a small bite of the fabric and with the needle pointed downwards Take the thread ACROSS THE TOP of the needle and then wrap it under the needle.
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