Monday, 24 July 2017

Sunday Stitch School - Lesson 30: Holbein Stitch

Welcome to another day in the library at Sunday Stitch School.

We need a linear stitch and after looking trough this pile
the Holbein Stitch was picked. It features in every one of the books. It is an important stitch for Assisi embroidery and Blackwork.

Other English names are Double Running Stitch (tells you how it is worked!), Line Stitch, Two-sided Line Stitch, Two-sided Stroke Stitch, Square Stitch, Romanian Stitch and Chiara Stitch.
In Swedish it is called Holbeinsöm. In French there are two names: Point de Holbein or Double Point Avant.

Work it like this:
 Make a line of even Running stitches

 Work the empty spaces on the return journey. If two different colours are used, you get a more striking effekt and it won't be confused with Back Stitch.

It looks good when it is used to make pattern like this.

Here is some more interesting reading and great pictures..

1) Make a row on the Aida sampler

2) Fill in a square on this 'canvas'.


  1. very impressive embroidery book collection. Happy to see another easy stitch. may have to try some kasuti embroidery, where this stitch is used extensively, making the right and wrong look the same.
    Is this stitch also called chitra stitch?

    1. Ha, ha! That is what my computer's auto spell correct wanted to call the stitch! It is called, according to Mary Thomas's book, CHIARA Stitch, and I have corrected the text.

  2. a stitcher can never have too many stitch books you have a great collection.

    1. Stitch dictionaries are a must for me. I often find that the directions vary in the books and then I can try out different ways to work the stitch and settle for the one that I like best.

  3. A nice simple stitch but looks very effective.

  4. That's a beautiful piece of batik you have under your stack of embroidery books.
    The double running stitch looks exceptional worked in that pattern.
    I'm still searching for that Sunset embroidery stitch booklet and I haven't found it yet.
    Thanks for letting us in on your 'journey'.

    1. That batik is the cover of a notebook!
      I understand why every book has the Holbein stitch in it - it is so useful, easy and attractive.
      Take your time about the Sunset booklet!

  5. It's a simple stitch, but can be hard to make neat..

    1. You are right. Did you see the link? There you can see two ways to do the return journey, either you let the thread go from down to up and get a 'rope like' effect, or you split the stitch. That means you need a sharp needle.

  6. Love the stitch, simple but very effective.

  7. It's a nice and useful stitch.


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