Rope Stitch

Rope stitch is probably the richest looking embroidery stitch of this family. It follows a series of closed up twisted chain stitches to form an embossed rope look.

You need to know the twisted chain stitch to be able to do the rope stitch. I will demonstrate this on a curved stitch line.

Fig 1: Make a twisted chain stitch loop with the first point A on the stitch line.
Now, put the needle in through D and bring it slightly out through E, which lies ON the stitch line. This is a similar pattern we follow for twisted chain stitch. The only difference here is that D falls just above B instead of near C. This helps to close up the spaces between each stitch to give that embossed rich look.
Fig 2: Loop the thread around as we would usually for a twisted chain stitch.
Pull the needle out. Continue this procedure.
Fig 3: Note that when you do the curves, the stitches will get longer. This is to compensate for the curves. Fig 4: As you end the curve, the stitches will fall back to its normal or shorter stitches.
Fig 5: A finished curve of a rope stitch would look like this.
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28 Responses

  1. Gisela Argentina Google Chrome  Moto G (5) Plus) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/71.0.3578.83 Mobile Safari/537.36 says:

    No me sale… Quiero saber si tenés algún vídeo que me indique mejor… Estoy tejiendo una manta para mi bebé, y quiero terminarlo antes de que Nazca.

  2. Gerry United States Google Chrome  SAMSUNG-SM-G935A Build/NRD90M says:

    Hello. Would this work on a gradual curve on needlepoint canvas? Great looking stitch. Thank you.

  3. Jess Colombia Google Chrome Mac OS says:

    Hey I’m wondering if I’m also able to make straight lines with this stitch? I’m doing an embroidery of someone doing shibari and this stitch looks perfect for the image

    • sarah India Google Chrome Windows says:

      Hi Jess,

      Of course, you can make a straight line with this stitch. This tutorial illustrates a curved line just to show that it is a flexible stitch.


  4. karen United States Mozilla Windows says:

    I really think you do a wonderful job with your description and pictures showing how to do stitches, but I must say I don’t think much of step 1 of your rope stitch directions. There are 5 steps in step 1 and all you say is ” you should know how to do a twisted chain stitch”. That tells me a whole lot of nothing. I’ve read and owe a lot of embroidery books and I can’t think of one that assumes you know what to do after you come up at A. And no, I really don’t want to have to go to yet another page just to be able to do step 1.

    • rocksea Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

      Karen, the twisted chain stitch has a tutorial page of its own, and it is better to follow that link first, before getting in to this page with an advanced stitch. It is impossible for us to show all the basic stitches before each advanced stitch!

      • Sherine India Google Chrome  Micromax A177 Build/MicromaxA177) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/31.0.1650.59 Mobile Safari/537.36 says:

        Dear Rocksea, I am a follower of Sarah’s embroidery tutorials. And I appreciate her efforts to create each of this tutorials by dedicating her time despite of her responsibility towards the family. Convey my regards to her.

        Thank you,

        Sherine, Kochi.

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