Satin stitch is probably one of the most beautiful stitches, when done properly. It is equally difficult in certain ways. This family of stitches focusses on filling a motif using series of stitches done closely to each other. While doing this stitch, it is important to pay attention to the neatness of the outline and to keep each stitch close to each other to give it a satin finish.

There are different varieties of satin stitch, each to suit the pattern to be done.

handembroidery sample : satin stitch family

Many cultures use satin stitch for their embroidery purposes. It is found in the lands of north Africa, south America, western Asia, south-eastern Asia and the Indian subcontinent.  

Amongst all, China used it in plenty. Many robes have been decorated using the satin stitch in the finest way in ancient China.  The folk embroideries of Korea, Japan, Indonesia and Vietnam include techniques adapted from China. The skills of creating satin stitch images were carried to an extent where double sided images were created on a single piece of silk. This is an extremely complicated technique with its roots believed to be from the third century.

In India, one of the well known embroideries using satin stitch is the ‘Phulkari’ from the Punjab region. ‘Phulkari’ means ‘flower work’ and the finest of them is called ‘bagh’, which means ‘garden’ . It is done in marigold colored thread over rust colored cloth. The importance of ‘Phulkari’ shawls still prevail amongst women of India and Pakistan. When a girl is born, her maternal grandmother begins embroidering a ‘bagh’ which later becomes a part of the trousseau during the girl’s wedding.