The open chain stitch works well on lines, curves, and circles. It creates a square-looking stitch if space is left between the individual stitches, but you can also close up the open space between the stitches, to create a more solid-looking line.
The sample above shows open chain stitch worked in a circle. The linen used for these samples is Sotema 20L, in apple green, and the thread is a #20 coton a broder. As with any surface embroidery stitch, you can work open chain stitch on any type of fabric, with practically any type of thread.
When the width of the line equals the stitch length, the open chain stitch creates a connected line of little square stitches.
But you can also work the open chain on lines that are not parallel, creating bulges and waves in the line for an interesting effect.
Open chain stitch is a fun stitch, and it’s very quick to work. Once you get a stitching rhythm going, it works up quickly and covers a line fast! In the video, you’ll see that I use my needle as a “place holder” to tighten the stitch around, and at first, this might seem awkward, but once you do it a couple times, it’s easy. I find it much easier to use the needle to hold the stitch in place, than to pull too far on the stitch and have to straighten it out afterwards. It’s also easier than tightening up the stitch after the thread has been pulled through. Well, that’s a lot of explanation – you’ll see what I’m talking about when you watch the video and practice the stitch!
Here’s the open chain stitch video:
If you’re looking for more stitch instructions, feel free to check out the growing collection of embroidery stitch videos here on Needle ‘n Thread!