Embroider the World

Satin stitch

What is it?

This is a Chinese example of satin stitch, which is a technique for adding large areas of colour. Chinese embroidery often depicts colourful birds and flowers, and a skilful embroiderer can use silks to give the impression of colours blended together as if they were paint.

This example shows two stylised cranes in shades of blue and grey which look very realistic. By using thread with a sheen to produce large glossy areas, a plain dyed cloth is transformed into a sumptuous fabric.

Experiment with mastering the blends of colours and smooth, even stitches before using the technique in an abstract way. Where might you use this technique to add a touch of glamour to a garment?

How do I do it?

  • Outline your design in transfer pencil or running stitch.
  • Make straight stitches close together and fill the shape completely changing colour as necessary. 
Download our handy PDF guide to learning satin stitch and all of the other stitches featured in this resource. 

Document icon Learning article provided by: Bankfield Museum | 
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