Split stitch - embroidery how-to, quick video, and step by step guide

What is the split stitch and how do I use it?

The split stitch is literally splitting the threads of your embroidery floss as you create a stitch. It's a great stitch when you're looking for a more organic outline stitch for your embroidery. The texture of a split stitch differs slightly from a backstitch because it has a more fluid movement, similar to the look for a stem stitch. The split stitch works best with 6-strand embroidery floss, working with an even number of strands. In the Stitching Raccoon Sampler, the split stitch is used for the stem of the Queen Anne's Lace plant.Split stitch in the Stitching Raccoon Sampler

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Split stitch diagram

Below is what a typical diagram for the split stitch may look like in an embroidery pattern or on other how-to pages. 

Split stitch diagram

See the split stitch in action:

Follow along with this quick video to see how each step of the split stitch comes together.

Step-by-step instructions

Now, let's walk through each step in the split stitch together.

Step 1: To begin, bring your needle up at your starting point.

Image of stitching the split stitch

Step 2: Then, insert the needle down a stitch length away, creating a single straight stitch.

Image of stitching the split stitch

Step 3: Now, bring the needle back up, going through the center of the last stitch, splitting the strands of that stitch.

Image of stitching the split stitch

Step 4: Continue working your way forward, splitting the stitch as you come up each time. 

Image of stitching the split stitchImage of stitching the split stitch

Step 5: To end this stitch, after you’ve come up through the last stitch, simply send the needle down a half a stitch length away from your last stitch.

Image of stitching the split stitch

Save it for later.

Want to remember how to do the split stitch? Pin the image below to Pinterest as a quick reference for later!

Split stitch diagram for Pinterest

Give it a try, you can do it!

Now it's your turn to grab a needle, some embroidery floss, and give it a go! Practice the split stitch, along with other basic embroidery stitches, in the Stitching Raccoon Sampler. Get the embroidery pattern for FREE by signing up below!

Image of finished Stitching Raccoon Sampler

Watch the LIVE stitch along of the Raccoon Sampler with Alyssa and the Penguin & Fish family here!

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