Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Hungarian Braided Chain Stitch Video


Amazon Books

The Hungarian Braided Chain Stitch (also called the Hungarian Chain Stitch or the Hungarian Braid Stitch) is worked in a manner similar to a reverse chain stitch or a heavy chain stitch, with one notable difference that gives a completely different look to the line.

I love this stitch! It is fun to work, it works up rather quickly, and it can be used anywhere you want a heavier chain-stitch-like line that has a bit of texture to it and looks braided. It really is a lovely stitch!

Hungarian Braided Chain Stitch

The Hungarian braided chain stitch works well on straight lines, gently curved lines, and even on tightly curved lines. Practically anywhere you can work a chain stitch, you can work this stitch.

In most books, you’ll see the stitch diagrammed in such a way that it looks really easy just to follow the diagram – but in fact, it can be rather frustrating to work when you try to pick up the inside stitch. In the video, I’ll show you the easy way to do this.

Hungarian Braided Chain Stitch

Another point about the way the Hungarian braided chain stitch is diagrammed in books: it is usually shown worked from the top of a line, towards the stitcher. You can actually work this stitch in any direction – left to right, right to left, top to bottom, bottom to top. I find it easier to work the stitch away from me rather than towards me. It’s worth taking some time to play around with the stitch to find out which way is more comfortable for you to work it.

Here’s the video – I hope you enjoy it!

For more hand embroidery stitch videos, feel free to visit my collection of embroidery how-to videos here on Needle ‘n Thread! You’ll find over 70 hand embroidery videos there to help you learn various stitches to add to your hand embroidery projects.

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(40) Comments

  1. Thank you very much for the video Mary..
    I was always making mess by splitting the thread while doing braided chain stitch. I followed your tip and really fell in love with the stitch..

    Love n Regards
    Lakshmi Sadala

  2. Mary, you make all these stitches look so easy that I just have to try them all. And they are pretty easy- once you explain them! Thank you so much.

  3. Wonderful instructions and far better than in my book which I had been trying to work out.Thank you so much.

  4. The only problem with getting daily emails from Mary is that I can never get any housework done! It seems every stitch must be tried right away and before I know it hours have flown by!

    1. Housework?! That word sounds vaguely familiar…. I think it’s something we’re supposed to avoid, if I recall correctly! 🙂

      Actually, I always find that needlework is a carrot. If I get my housework done, I can spend more time (with a clear conscience!) on the Fun Stuff!

      *sigh* As my mother always said, “The laundry won’t do itself…”


  5. Dear Mary,
    I just learn more one stitch. You are the most important people in my life.
    I ask you if there are a book with all kinds of stitches you make.
    Please send me the name and how I can buy it.
    I wich you wonderful 2013. You are so special for me.

  6. Just discovered this wonderful site. I have never done much embroidery my hand but after looking at all the information on this site, I will! Thank you. It is a goldmine!

  7. I just love this runner. It is a rarity that you see a runner, and even more so one that is embroidered. I love the Hungarian braid stitch so very pretty. I haven’t done embroidery since the third grade, however, watching you progress in your runner has led me to the temptation in trying out some stitches. The other day I came across a tablecloth that my mom always used for special occasions. It has burn marks from dad’s cigarettes but surprisingly it is still in excellent condition and fits my table! I was debating on how I can incorporate some embroidery around the burns. Definitely a project to ponder for this Summer. Thank you for your inspiration!

  8. I just picked up an embroidery needle after about a 30 year hiatus, and realized that I didn’t remember anything past a chain stitch. Luckily I found you on Pinterest which led me to your wonderful web site. Love it, love it, love it. Thank you so much for sharing your skills and great talent.

  9. Hello! I just found your heavy chain stitch yesterday, and started using it immediately!! , the very next day, and you have this gorgeous and very effective tambour stitch! OOoo, I got a very warm feeling about your site!!
    Hand stitching is so much fun!!!
    Thank you for sharing! ‘A fairly new, but coming up strong stitcher’

  10. I just wanted to thank you for the great videos (not to mention the daily mini-lessons and book reviews as well – I love it all!). I’m definitely a visual learner and appreciate being able to revisit instructional material.

  11. THANKYOU for your FANTASTIC blog, Mary. My best friends name is Karen, and she is Hungarian. I saw this stitch, and want to use it in making her an embroidered initial. The video really makes it easy!!!!!! Thanks so much!

  12. Thanks so much for the video… I started some Xmas work last night & couldn’r emember how to work the Hungarian chain… all of you videos, like your embroidery are wondwerful.

  13. Hi, Mary! Thanks for this video.
    Can you tell me what kind of stitch is this? There is a green stitch on the second photo?

    Thank you.

  14. Thank you very much for your wonderful tutorials!
    They are so easily-explained, that they make me believe I can be an “embroidery mogul” just like you!

  15. Hi Mary, After watching the tutorial on The Hungarian Braided Chain Stitch (also called the Hungarian Chain Stitch or the Hungarian Braid Stitch) I was wondering about thread recommendations. In the video, are you working with a small size perle cotton ? Any recommendations for a thread that works up best ?

    All the best,

    Cindy in Lake Chapala, Mexico !

  16. I just discovered your website, and it’s amazing! I’ve been embroidering on and off for years, but I am very much a novice, mostly because I don’t put enough time and practice in. Too many hobbies, not enough time. I have recently picked it up again, and started a sampler, both to learn new stitches and brush up on the ones I already knew but haven’t done in ages. Anyway, when I found your post and tutorial on the Hungarian braided chain stitch, I was over the moon! It’s so pretty and versatile. I’m really looking forward to adding it to the sampler. Thanks for sharing all your amazing work – your website is a fantastic resource.

  17. Thank you so much for all your tutorials Mary. I’m wondering how you get the Hungarian braid stitch to work in a sharp corner I can’t seem to get it to look seamless.

    1. Hi, Cindi – I think the best way is to continue one line up to the “peak” of your corner and end the line, and then pick up the next line down from the peak or corner in a new line, instead of trying to turn sharply.

  18. OMG! Every time I see a new stitch it gives me the urge to try it and this year I will make it one of my goals!! I haven’t done embroidery or stitching of any kind since I was 10!!! so it may be a challenge. This stitch looks beautiful ! I found a bin full of embroidery threads (from my mom’s store back in the 60’s ) and even some cloth to practice on, something that sadly I is no longer available in the stores. Thank you so much for your inspiration

  19. Good day Mary, hope you are enjoying your Saturday, here in Montréal it is -24 with the wind factor so no outside playing for me. I am toying with the idea of creating a stitch sampler, I am what you dearly call a déterminé beginner. I have a question regarding the Hungarian stain stitch worked in a circle, I don’t seem to be able to connect both ends neatly, any tips or tricks for me?

    Thanks in advanced and happy stitching!

  20. it is my first time I come across your website through Pinterest, I really enjoy your tutorial videos, they are very precious and easy to follow. Thank you so much. I am in love with embroidery.

  21. Thank you so much for your fabulous site, and for your clear, helpful videos. I’m having a great time using this beautiful stitch now!

  22. Trying to sign up for your newsletter but message keeps saying my email is wrong format. I have two email addresses and I use both regularly.

  23. Wow, that is one absolutely beautiful stitch……..just gorgeous! I want to try that once I get my new glasses next week.

  24. Hello,
    Thank for this site. I’m a novice and very keen to learn.
    I am wondering what type of thread you would suggest for the project, what needle and size?

  25. I have been researching Russian and Eastern European embroidery for a Snegurochka project, and Braided Chain stitch was mentioned. I’ve been embroidering for almost 70 years and I never heard of it. Thanks for the video! It is serendipity.

  26. Mary,
    Thank you!
    I’ve been practicing this stich, im going to make it one of my favorites with a little bit more practice.

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