Maidenhair stitch is a very decorative stitch which can be accompanied with other stitches like the french knot or oyster stitch to create beautiful designs. This stitch is a bit different from from the other kinds in feather stitch family. Intead of taking a ‘V’ shape each time, it finishes a set of half ‘V’s on one side before moving to the other. Let’s say that it follows, more or less, the single feather stitch technique, with the stitches on both sides.

I will work on three parallel stitch lines A, B,C. It is advised that stitch lines be drawn to avoid asymmetry.

maidenhair_stitch_1   maidenhair_stitch_2
 Fig 1: First, make a singe ‘V’ as for a regular feather stitch. Bring the needle out through A.  Putting in the needle through C, bring it out through B.    Fig 2: Now, take the needle in through a point in a straight line and closer to A, as shown. Bring the needle out through B.
maidenhair_stitch_3   maidenhair_stitch_4
 Fig 3: As done before, take the needle in at yet another point in a straight line closer to  the previous point. Again, bring out the needle diagonally through B and pull it out with the thread under it.    Fig 4: Now, we begin a similar procedure on the other side. Take the needle in through C, bring it out through B, and with the thread under the needle, pull it out.
maidenhair_stitch_5       Fig 5: We keep on with this procedure, alternating between both sides after every set of stitch. B will always remain the stitch line from where the needle will always emerge out.
maidenhair_stitch_6    Fig 6: A finished portion of maiden hair stitch will look like this. You may add as many branches on the sides as you wish, but the farther you go towards the sides, the longer the stitch gets and the higher the chance of the thread loosening.