Feather stitch tutorial

To learn how to do feather stitch, why not check out my feather stitch tutorial. It includes:

  • illustrated embroidery stitch instructions
  • feather stitch video
  • tips for success
  • variations on feather stitch
  • Royal School of Needlework stitch bank.  

Feather stitch uses

Rows of feather stitch look so graceful but as they’re just interlinked V shapes they're simple to do. You're likely to use feather stitch for stems, branches, seaweed, coral or other foliage. 

Feather stitch tutorial, example


Feather stitch tutorial

Feather stitch tutorial
  • Bring the needle up at 1, then down at 2 and up at 3, keeping the thread in a loop behind the needle. 
  • Make a second stitch using the thread at 3 as your starting point, put the needle down at 4 and up at 5. 
  • Continue from 6 in the same way. 
  • To finish off make a tiny stitch over the thread to hold the last loop in place.

Feather stitch video

Tips for success

Keep the stitches evenly sized and spaced, unless you want a more random effect. Otherwise, it helps to draw four parallel lines onto your fabric where the second and third lines are the bottom of the two V shapes which form the stitch.

In kits where I use feather stitch I have marked the stitch lines so you can easily see how the V shapes are formed and stitch them in the right place.

Download my free stitch guide covering 10 easy embroidery stitches, including feather stitch.

Variations on feather stitch

My favourite variation is double feather stitch where you go one V further out on each side, as shown in the light and dark pink stitching on the navy blue leaf in this photo:

Double feather stitch tutorial
You can vary feather stitch by changing the angles so the stitches are closed like triangles, giving a straight outside edges. This is called closed feather stitch

More on feather stitch

The Royal School of Needlework has a stitch bank which aims to preserve every known stitch. It will become a world-wide directory of embroidery stitches. You can read their stitch bank entry for feather stitch and see their feather stitch tutorial here.