FEATHER STITCH Embroidery – Best Beginner Tutorial

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Learn how to embroider the feather stitch with this simple tutorial. Feather stitch (or featherstitch) just curls across the fabric and lightly gives your design a soft feathery texture. ‘As light as a feather’ is a great description to add to this delicate and soft stitch. Feather stitch is a form of chain stitch and is a simple, basic embroidery stitch. Useful for branches, twigs, vines, and underwater seaweed or coral, it can twist and turn gently into a picturesque work of art. You will also find feather stitch on the seams of some quilts as a decorative stitch.

Feather Stitch Embroidery Tutorial with step by step photosPinFeather Stitch Tutorial


Feather Stitch Tutorial for EmbroideryWhat Does Feather Stitch Look Like?What is Feather Stitch Used For?How to Draw Lines for Feather StitchFeather Stitch Embroidery ToolsHow to Do Feather Stitch Embroidery Step by StepStep 1- Starting the Feather Stitch PatternStep 2 – Form the First TriangleStep 3 – Add More Feather Stitch PatternsStep 4 – Start AgainUsing Feather Stitch as StemsFeather Stitch FAQsWhat Stitch is Similar to Feather Stitch?What is a Feather Stitch on a Sewing MachineTips for Sewing Feather StitchEmbroidery Feather Stitch – In ConclusionFeather StitchToolsMaterialsInstructionsMore Embroidery Articles

Feather Stitch Tutorial for Embroidery

What Does Feather Stitch Look Like?

Feather stitch looks like a row of connected v-shapes. It can be straight or curved and flowing. It is stitched along 4 lines giving it a wide and open appearance.

What is Feather Stitch Used For?

Feather stitch is commonly used for embroidery leaves, stems, branches, and coral where a flowing graceful look is desired. It can also be used for beautiful borders and edges on a quilt. Use it for crazy quilting!

Feather stitch can grace your design freely or you can be pedantic about symmetry and draw four lines to work within ensuring each stitch is exactly in the right place and has the right spacing. Use French knots on the ends of the feather stitch to look like the buds of small flowers.

Embroidery for Beginners

Learn how to embroider and the best embroidery stitches with this easy beginners guide.

How to Embroider

How to Draw Lines for Feather Stitch

If you choose to draw four evenly spaced lines to work with then the gaps between the lines will determine the size and length of the stitch. I always recommend using lines when learning this stitch. Switch to a more free-flowing version after you have practiced a few times.

Straight Feather Stitch Vs Curved Feather Stitch

For straight feather stitch, draw 4 horizontal lines to follow. If you wish for a curved appearance you can draw 4 parallel curved lines. Feather stitch is best suited to gentle curves as it can be hard to stitch tight curves.

feather stitch embroidery, featherstitchfeather stitch embroidery, featherstitchPinFeather Stitch

Feather Stitch Embroidery Tools

The great thing about embroidery is that you need very few tools. It is easiest to sew feather stitch in an embroidery hoop to hold the fabric tight and prevent puckering. Learn all about embroidery tools.

THREADS – Use embroidery strands of floss. This thread or embroidery floss comes with 6 intertwined strands.

How many strands of floss do you need for feather stitch: You can use all 6 strands for a thicker look or pull it apart to use fewer for a finer design. I usually use the 6 strands as I like a chunky look. The number of strands is up to you.

EMBROIDERYNEEDLE – Embroidery or crewel needles have a longer eye that makes it easier to thread. If you have any problems threading the thick threads through the needle, try a needle threader and make sure the end is cut sharply.

FABRIC – While you can use any fabric, it is easiest to use fabrics with an open weave like linen, cotton or Aida fabric. I used an unbleached calico for my samples but also favor linen fabric.

MARKING – Tailor`s chalk, water soluble pen or pencil, or removable fabric marking pens are best. Just test first to make sure the markings can be removed easily after you finish the feather stitch.

How to Do Feather Stitch Embroidery Step by Step

Step 1- Starting the Feather Stitch Pattern

Feather stitch looks complicated until you realize it is just a series of offset v shapes.

Draw 4 lines and the v shapes as below. Once you have practiced the stitch a few times and have the angle correct, you won`t need the guidelines and can switch to a more free-flowing version.

feather stitch shapefeather stitch shapePinFeather Stitch Formation

Thread your needle single and knot the end.

Bring your needle up from the back of your fabric to the left bottom of your first marked row at (1).

Note: we will be working this stitch left to right

feather stitch step 1feather stitch step 1PinFeather Stitch – Step 1

Step 2 – Form the First Triangle

The first line is the starting point and your thread loops across to the third line for the second point of the stitch at (2).

See how (2) is directly in line above (1).

Exit the needle at (3) which is on the second line and equal distance forwards from (1) and (2).

Loop the thread under the tip of the needle at (3).

feather stitch step 2feather stitch step 2PinFeather Stitch – Step 2

Here is how it looks when the first stitch is pulled tight.

feather stitch step 2feather stitch step 2PinFeather Stitch – Step 2

Step 3 – Add More Feather Stitch Patterns

Continue to follow your design adding feathering on each side.

The next loop of the stitch goes across to line four as you complete the second triangle.

Insert the needle at (4), exit at (5) making sure the thread is under the tip of the needle.

Notice how (4) is directly about point (3).

Feathering Stitch - Step 3Feathering Stitch - Step 3PinFeathering Stitch – Step 3

Step 4 – Start Again

Go back to line one to create another triangle the same as the first.

Feathering Stitch - Step 4Feathering Stitch - Step 4PinFeathering Stitch – Step 4

Here is a row of feather stitch. Now you have the hang of it, try again without the lines.

Feather Stitch TutorialFeather Stitch TutorialPinFeather Stitch Tutorial

Using Feather Stitch as Stems

If you use feather stitch as stems, you will need some flowers to go with them! You can create a whole garden scene.

See my tutorials on:

Embroidery RosesEmbroidery Flowers

Feather Stitch FAQs

What Stitch is Similar to Feather Stitch?

If you are looking for a simpler stitch than feather stitch, then try the fly stitch. This stitch is embroidered along 3 lines and is much simpler and quicker for stems and borders.

fly stitch vertical and joinedfly stitch vertical and joinedPinFly Stitch

What is a Feather Stitch on a Sewing Machine

If you don`t feel like hand stitching your feather stitch, look at the decorative stitches on your machine. Many sewing machines have a feather stitch or something very similar.

Tips for Sewing Feather Stitch

The most important tip when sewing this stitch is not to pull too tightly with the thread. Pulling will result in puckering of the fabric and your feather stitch won`t lie flat.

Embroidery Feather Stitch – In Conclusion

Variations of feather stitch can come naturally as you change the length, size and symmetry of the triangles. You can choose to only feather one side of the line or you can freehand this stitch very easily.

Feel as free as a bird and get creative with feather stitch!

feather stitch, featherstitchfeather stitch, featherstitchPinFeather Stitch

feather stitch embroideryfeather stitch embroideryPin

Feather Stitch

Learn how to do feather stitch with this easy step by step tutorial.

4.9/5 – (31 votes)

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Difficulty: Easy Beginner

Keyword: Embroidery and Hand Sewing

Total Time: 4minutes


Embroidery NeedleSharp ScissorsEmbroidery HoopMarking Pen


Embroidery Floss


Draw 4 paralell lines. Bring your needle up at (1) on the left of the bottom line. feather stitch step 1feather stitch step 1PinPut the needle down at (2) which is on the third line vertically in line with (1). The needle should exit at (3) on the second line. Loop the thread under the tip of the needle at (3). feather stitch step 2feather stitch step 2PinPull tight.feather stitch step 2feather stitch step 2PinInsert the needle at (4) and exit at (5) with the thread under the tip of the needle. feather stitch step 3feather stitch step 3PinPull tight.feather stitch step 3feather stitch step 3Pin

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4.9/5 – (31 votes)