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How to do a Couching Stitch

Learning how to do the couching stitch can produce some amazing results.  It’s such a simple stitch, but can be worked up in very interesting patterns and designs.

How to do the Couching Stitch

Embroidery Couching Stitch—what is it?

The couching stitch is worked up using two threads at a time, which may take some getting used to.  One thread lays across your work while the other thread is used to tack down the first thread along your design.  I made a quick video to show you how to do the couching stitch.

Where did the couching stitch originate?

Couching is a historical embroidery stitch that goes back to medieval times.

What is couching used for?

Couching is a decorative stitch used in embroidery.  It can be used along lines to create a dimensional design. I recommend googling this one to see the neat things you can do with it.

Couching Stitch—Supplies Needed

  • Fabric
  • Embroidery Floss
  • 2 Embroidery Needles
  • Scissors

How To Do a Couching Stitch

  1. Thread 2 needles with embroidery floss. Use the same color for both if you want the tacking stitches to blend in, or use a different color if you want them to stand out.
  2. Bring one needle up at the start of your line and lay the thread across the fabric, following the line.
  3. Bring the second needle up one stitch length down the line and slightly to one side of it.
  4. Make a small stitch over the laying thread to tack it in place, bringing the needle down on the other side of the line.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4, making tacking stitches at even intervals down the line, to hold down the laying thread.
  6. When you get close to the end of the line, take the needle that is attached to the laying thread, and push it down at the end of the line.  Secure both threads in the back.

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How Far Apart Should Couching Stitches Be?

Couching stitches should be a maximum of ¼ inch apart to ensure the laying thread stays secure.

Is the Couching Stitch the same as appliqué?

No, the couching stitch is a type of embroidery stitch.  Applique is cutting a piece of fabric and sewing it to another piece of fabric.

Is Couching Stitch the same as bullion stitch or blanket stitch?

No, couching is a different type of embroidery stitch where one thread is laid across the top of the fabric and a second thread is used to tack it down along the design line.

More Embroidery Stitches

Learn all of these other embroidery stitches by making this embroidery stitch sampler 2 with me. It’s a great way to practice and a nice reference to have while you are reading other embroidery patterns.

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To watch all of the videos in this series, including some basic embroidery tips, go to my YouTube channel here. I’ll walk you through the entire process and make it super easy for you.

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