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How to Satin Stitch – embroidery video

Small heart embroidered with satin stitch in purple thread, outlined with chain stitch in pink thread. Text reads: How to Satin Stitch

Satin stitch is one of my favorite fill stitches for small areas. It has a smooth (yes, satiny) surface and it’s a very effective way to make small areas pop. I like it when the satin stitched area is slightly raised above the surface of the fabric, and I’ll show you how to achieve that effect. It’s a nifty trick that also makes your stitching easier. I like that kind of trick!

See how easy? Satin stitch isn’t hard – it’s just slow. 🙂

Technically, this is called padded satin stitch. I show it with a ring of split stitch around the edge of the shape. There’s a tutorial showing how to split stitch here.

If you’re filling a larger area, or just want to pad the entire shape, you can use split stitch as a fill stitch to completely fill the area before sating stitching over it.

Another option (which I occasionally use for doll or softie eyes) is to cut the shape out of felt (in a color to match the thread) and then satin stitch over the felt as the padding.

Want the effect you see in that heart in the top photo? After satin stitching the heart, I outlined the shape with chain stitch. Easy peasy and super fancy.

You can find that heart embroidery pattern here.

Here are my lessons for the four most basic embroidery stitches I recommend for beginners.

Return to the Learn to Embroider main Table of Contents.

Move on to the lessons teaching other options for outline stitches.


  1. Elaine SAYS...

    I enjoy watching your videos I have been doing hand embroidery for many years. And it is always nice to see someone else techniques Thanks for sharing.

    • wendigratz SAYS...

      Thanks so much. 🙂

  2. Dianne SAYS...

    Thanks Wendy – I’m new at this and satin stitch has been scaring me. You give me the courage to try it. Thanks so much for another great video!

    • wendigratz SAYS...

      Have fun with it!

      • Nadalyn SAYS...

        Do you think this stitch would hold up on a piece of clothing, after washing and all? I’m trying to design a sweater. Thanks!

        • Yes – just don’t make it span too large an area.

  3. LuLu keener SAYS...

    I would like to know what kind of yarn and where can I find it. I’ve only used DMC and pearl Cotten. Looks like you are using a larg needle, what size.

    • This is just DMC thread. It’s all 6 strands and I think I’m using a #5 embroidery needle.

  4. I just recently started learning hand embroidery and your videos have been so helpful through this process! Thank you so much for making these videos.

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