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Split stitch embroidery is comparatively an easier stitching method. As the name says, it involves the splitting of a linear stitching thread.

A split stitch is an embroidery technique that closely resembles the chain stitch. The split stitch is formed when the working thread, after a small straight stitch, is taken backwards underneath the ground cloth, but instead of coming up next to the thread on top (as in outline stitch and stem stitch), the point of the needle ‘splits’ the working thread, and the needle/thread is pulled through the split portion.

This can be either done with a thick splittable embroidery thread, or else we can use double thread through the needle.  


  • An embroidery hoop
  • Sewing needles of different sizes (as per need)
  • Pencil 
  • Small scissors 
  • Small pieces of cotton fabric
  • Normal cotton thread
  • Ruler 
Split stitch embroidery

Here are the three short steps to get you working on Split stitching.

  1. It is recommended for a beginner to draw a straight line on the practice fabric with a pencil for straight aligned stitch. Put the needle through the fabric from the bottom.
  2. Now pull the needle completely through the fabric. Further make a round and bring the needle tip towards the first hole direction and stab a hole about a stitch length away. Also bring up the needle halfway between the two holes made.
  3. The split stitch can be worked horizontally left to right or right to left or vertically bottom to top, and is always worked with the individual stitch lengths as evenly as possible.
  4. Now the technical part, from which the stitch holds its name. If you are using a splittable thread, put the needle through the thread above. Further or if you are using a double thread then put it between and pull the needle back. Now continue the same process to get a beautiful linear chain like stitch. 
Split stitch embroidery

Things to mind before starting a Split stitch embroidery project-

The split stitch can be used for outlines, stems, solitary stitches, fillings, or as padding under other stitches. The ground fabric can be plain or evenweave fabric and should be held taut in a hoop or frame while stitching. 

This stitch requires a sharp needle and a soft, untwisted or only slightly twisted thread, such as cotton floss, silk floss or thread, flower thread, pearl cotton, ribbon, and wool, cotton, or blended yarn. 

It’s nearly impossible to split a tightly twisted or hard thread evenly. The stab method of stitching works best in keeping the working thread untwisted and the stitches flat and even.

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