How to Make a Satin-Smooth Satin Stitch

comments (5) November 19th, 2008     

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erika_kern Erika Kern, contributor
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A nice smooth satin stitch is easier than you think!
Front or back? The back of your work will look pretty much like the front when you work in satin stitch.
Ive found it best to use three strands of floss when I use a satin stitch. 
A nice smooth satin stitch is easier than you think!

A nice smooth satin stitch is easier than you think!

Photo: Erika Kern

Back in September, I posted this article about one pattern three ways. In it I used a satin stitch as the fill for one of the "ways," and member Ednarb commented, "I can't believe how smooth and even your satin stitch is. Still can't get mine to come out that nicely." Well, I am here to help out! By using these simple tips, you can have the satin stitch smoother than Barry White's voice.


When using the satin stitch, it's best not to use the whole six strands of your floss. It tends to look bunchy and not very smooth and smooth is what we're after. I've found it best to use three strands of floss when I use a satin stitch.

I like to start in the middle of the shape and work up. Once I finish one half, I flip my work over and stitch the other half. I find working from the middle keeps my stitches straight.

Keep your stitches nice and close together. If you find your stitches gapping, don't be afraid to go back and fill in between the open stitches.

It may seem like a waste of floss, but pulling the stitch full across the back of your work gives you the tension that makes for a super-smooth satin stitch.

Front or back? The back of your work will look pretty much like the front when you work in satin stitch.

A nice smooth satin stitch is easier than you think! A little tension and a bit of split stitch to outline your finished shape and you're set to go!

 

posted in: embroidery, how-to, satin stitch

Comments (5)

ladydragon writes: if you take a fabric sheet and put it behinded your pattern that will make it stiff to work your logo on soft cloth
Posted: 1:31 pm on March 14th
ladydragon writes: thank you been a long time for me to do this stitch.
if your floss to twist just take a fabric sheet and pull floss throught it this works for yarn to
Posted: 1:27 pm on March 14th
rabid_designs writes: Very helpful. I also like to keep my threads from twisting. Straight threads add to the shine :)
Posted: 3:37 am on December 20th
erika_kern writes: Well, keeping a nice tension on the floss as you're stitching helps a lot but if you are trying to fill a larger shape and you're planning on using it and not stretching it I would strongly recommend not using this stitch. I would only use a satin stitch on spots that are 1" or less across. Instead of a satin stitch for what you're talking about, I would use another fill like a split stitch. It takes a lot longer to stitch but it's worth it. The split stitch locks each stitch down and makes it super durable, but you still get a pretty smooth look to the finished piece.

Hope this helps!
Posted: 4:12 pm on November 19th
cirone writes: thanks for the tutorial!

i have a newbie question -- how do you keep long/wide embroidery like this circle close to the main fabric? i don't know the term for it, but the last time i hand-embroidered a logo, the main fabric wasn't very stiff (it was a soft bag) and natural folds of the fabric caused the longer strands to sag. i tried to glue the string to the fabric, but that made it look crusty and dulled the embroidery thread's sheen.
Posted: 3:18 pm on November 19th
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