Zig Zag Coral stitch

Zig Zag Coral stitch

Zig Zag Coral Stitch is a variety of  Coral stitch. All versions of Coral stitch are based on twisted chain stitch. I recommend that you refresh your memory of twisted chain stitch before you try the coral stitch versions.

How to work Zig Zag Coral Stitch

Work this stitch between two parallel lines from top to bottom. If you need to mark the lines, use a dissolvable quilter’s pen. Make sure the lines are removable as they will not be covered by the stitching.  With stitches like this, I use the threads in the weave of the cloth as my guide. The step-by-step samples are worked in perle #5 thread.

zig zag coral stitch step 1

Bring your needle out on the left-hand side of the line and make a small twisted chain stitch by inserting the needle and having the point of the needle emerge a short space below the line, as illustrated. Wrap the thread over the needle and under the point.  Pull the needle through the fabric.

zig zag coral stitch step 2

Move diagonally across your work to the right, and make a twisted chain stitch, as illustrated.

zig zag coral stitch step 3

Take your thread diagonally to the left-hand side of the line and make a twisted chain stitch.

zig zag coral stitch step 4

Continue in this manner zig-zagging down the line which is of course how the stitch got its name!

Zig Zag Coral stitch is fun and once you get in the rhythm it is quick to do. It is also interesting to use thicker threads to create a border on your work. Or you can work Zig Zag Coral stitch row upon row to build up patterned fills. You can use this Zig Zag Coral stitch to couch down braids, ribbon, or novelty thread which gives the embroidery a contemporary twist. It is also a surface embroidery stitch to which you can easily add beads.

Have you seen my Stitchers Templates?


Create your own designs with Sharon’s easy-to-use stitchers templates. Combine shapes to create hundreds of patterns and designs to embroider. It is the ultimate mix-and-match fun for stitchers of all skill levels. I created them to be as versatile as possible. I include four multi-patterned templates in each set. You will find them easy to use, totally clear to help you position them on your work, and they are nice and compact to fit in your sewing box. Each set comes with an e-book filled with patterns and designs that you can create and use as a jumping-off spot for your own designs. They are available now in our shop here!

Happy stitching!


  1. Two lovely stitches Sharon. Many thanks. I do refer to your Stitch Dictionary frequently. . We hope all is well in Canberra and that you are steering clear of Covid. Thank goodness we didn’t know back on 23rd March that we would be under “house arrest” for 3 months !
    Best wishes
    Andy LW

    Andy Lloyd Williams
    1. Hi Andy great to hear from you. All is well here we are staying more or less at home. Hope you and yours are safe and healthy too. Take care we live in ‘interesting’ times!

  2. Hmm… Your idea of using this stitch to couch down threads gives me a fun idea. 🙂 I’m not sure if it will work, but there is only one way to find out. Thank you for another great stitch!

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