Tutorial on how to work Ainu Running Stitch

Tutorial on how to work Ainu Running Stitch

Ainu Running Stitch is a type of running stitch that comes from indigenous people of northern Japan, known as the Ainu. I discovered this stitch via Queeniepatch. Visit Queenie to read more about the stitch.

Apart from traditional applications Ainu Running Stitch lends itself to experimenting with different thickness of threads, different coloured threads and even adding beads on the thread that runs between the running stitch.

How to work Ainu Running Stitch

Commence with a line of generous running stitches made slightly longer than normal.

Ainu Running Stitch step 1On the second journey, working from right to left have your thread emerge below the first running stitch at the centre as illustrated.

Ainu Running Stitch step 2Make a small couching stitch as illustrated. With the needle emerging just below the end of the running stitch pull the thread through.

Ainu Running Stitch step 3Move to the next running stitch and make a slanted stitch. have your needle emerge at the centre of the next running stitch as illustrated.

Ainu Running Stitch step 4Take the thread over the stitch to make a small couching stitch.

Ainu Running Stitch step 5Move along the line couching each stitch.

Ainu Running Stitch I hope you enjoy this variety of running stitch which you may not be familiar with!

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My book for creative stitchers

Creative Stitches for Contemporary Embroidery book coverIf you enjoy my site you will get 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.


  1. Wow! I am delighted that you are introducing Ainu Stitch to your followers. It IS a great variation of the Running Stitch and can be altered in many ways with colour, thread type and length. I think the very best look is with a good contrast between the fabric and the two threads. Traditionally it seems to have been worked in white and red on a dark blue background.

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