Hand Sewing the Herringbone Stitch – Mother Earth News

Add detail to your next sewing project with one of the beautiful variations of the herringbone stitch.

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courtesy of Abrams

The geometry of hand sewing (Abrams, 2017) by Natalie Chanin embraces traditional hand sewing while simplifying elaborate and ornate stitches using the sewing cards included in the book. Chanin is the director of Alabama Chanin and the author of four additional sewing and styling books. The following excerpt details the variations of the herringbone stitch.

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Picture by Abraham Rowe and Rinne Allen

Woven double herringbone, woven double herringbone, whipped herringbone, laced herringbone, threaded herringbone, looped and threaded herringbone, and knotted herringbone are shown in order from left to right.

Double herringbone

The double herringbone is worked as a single row of herringbone stitches, then filled in between the first row of stitches with a second pass.

double herringbone

Woven double herringbone

The double woven herringbone is created by weaving the second pass under one leg of your first row of stitches and over the second leg, alternating over and under as you sew.

double woven herringbone

whipped herringbone

The whipped herringbone (also known as the knotted herringbone) uses a small parallel whipstitch to bind each of the crossed stitches together and secure them to the fabric. The parallel overlock stitch is often worked as a second pass.

whipped herringbone

Laced herringbone

The Laced Herringbone is created with a second yarn that runs behind each of the cross yarns. It can be added to one or more rows of herringbone stitches.

herringbone laced

Threaded chevrons

The threaded rafter, in its simplest version, is created when a thread or thread is threaded under and over each of the crosses in a row of stitches.

threaded herringbone

Looped and Threaded Herringbone

The looped and threaded chevron is created by threading and looping around each of the crosses in a row of stitches.


Knotted herringbone

In Knotted Herringbone, the cross stitches are knotted together – not sewn through the fabric – using a loop stitch method like Coral Stitch. This stitch is often worked in two colors to show off the added detail.

knotted herringbone

Reproduced with permission from The geometry of hand sewingby Natalie Chanin ND and published by Abraham, 2017.

Updated on December 12, 2021 | Originally published August 8, 2018

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