The Herringbone stitch is very versatile with many variations. It’s fun to experiment with different threads, and different spacing to make visually different looks with this easy-to-stitch embroidery stitch. It is generally stitched in a line, from left to right. It is perfect for a border on an embroidery project, or to follow a seam line to embellish a garment. Learn the basic Herringbone stitch embroidery with our step-by-step embroidery tutorial.
The herringbone stitch forms a V shaped stitch with the crossed threads, creating a continuous twill-like weave effect. This stitch can hem a garment, embellish crazy quilt, create continuous lines as a filler stitch and make a pretty border on a project.
Here are two rows of Herringbone stitch embroidery with slightly different spacing.
What is a herringbone stitch used for?
The herringbone stitch is an embroidery stitch that is though to resemble the bones of a herring fish – thus called the herringbone stitch. It is worked in a straight line and is perfect for embroidery embellishments for cuffs, borders, yokes and other elements that are straight.
What is the difference between cross stitch and herringbone stitch?
With cross stitch the threads in your embroidery cross right in the middle of your stitch. With the herringbone stitch the embroidery threads cross at different places depending on your stitch height and width. They can be considered ‘cousins’ in the embroidery cross stitch family.
Here is a sample where I used the herringbone stitch as a fill stitch. It creates a net-like effect when stitched in this way.
Start by making little stitches from right to left, alternating across both lines.
Here is a finished 4″ square filled with the Herringbone Stitch! Love it with the variegated thread! I can see this as a great filling stitch — maybe a roof top for a stitched house?
Check out all of the embroidery projects and inspiration on Create Whimsy.