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The Embroidery Stitch Bible by Betty Barnden

  • Publisher: Search Press
  • Edition: BC Paperback Flexi
  • Publication: 01 December 2017
  • ISBN 13/EAN: 9781782216025
  • Stock: 50+
  • Carton Qty: N/A
  • Size: 178x235 mm
  • Illustrations: 1000
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP Price: £14.99
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A new and up-to-date edition of the immensely successful stitch bible, by bestselling needlework designer and author Betty Barnden.

Trends in embroidery styles come and go, but the basic stitches and techniques remain the same. In this essential directory, hand sewers will have a collection of over 200 stitches at their fingertips from basic chain worked into fabric through to Florentine work on a canvas. Each one is explained with written step-by-step instructions and how-to techniques to get you started, and are accompanied by clear artwork and a photo of the finished stitch.

Follow the diagrams and instructions in this beautifully illustrated and jam-packed book to discover the wonderful variety of effects that can be created with just a needle and thread, and discover or rediscover the sensuous, tactile, wearable art of embroidery.

Table of Contents


Stitch selector 

Embroidery essentials

The stitch collection

Stitches for fabric

Line stitches

Chain stitches

Blanket stitches

Crossed stitches

Feather stitches

Satin stitches

Couching stitches

Laid filling stitches

Detached stitches

Raised stitches

Woven stitches

Insertion stitches

Smoking stitches

Drawn thread stitches

Pulled stitches

Stitches for trimmings

Stitches for canvas

Diagonal stitches

Straight stitches

Crossing stitches

Composite stitches

Loop and pile stitches

Working practice

Counted thread techniques

Freestyle embroidery techniques

Canvaswork techniques

Finishing touches

Glossary, index and credits

About Betty Barnden

Betty Barnden is a freelance needlecraft designer who studied furniture design at the Royal College of Art (where she made her first tubular knitted chairs). Betty has designed knitting patterns for companies such as Sirdar, Patons, Jaeger and King Cole. Her knitwear, embroidery and crochet designs have appeared in many magazines over the years, and she has also designed embroidery projects and kits. Betty regularly contributes to Sewing World magazine.


Karen Platt

Comprehensive directory of stitches with clear photographic reference and easy-to-follow diagrams. 200 embroidery stitches in all for cross or chain stitch, couching, canvas work, laid work, drawn thread work and decorative stitches. They are arranged according to use. This book should be on every embroiderer's bookshelf. It is particularly useful to beginners or those wishing to enlarge their knowledge of stitches and expand their embroidery work. There is a stitch selector and embroidery essentials. Alternative names for the stitch are given where known as well as usage and notes. The front cover says 'pages lay flat for ease of working' - this is incorrect - the pages do not lay flat. This book has been previously published and is an updated edition.

Nia Kirwin

5.0 out of 5 stars  All you need...

A beautiful and comprehensive book with great illustrations and explanations. What more could you need? Excellent!

Expand your enjoyment of embroidery by learning over 200 stitches.  Whatever your preferred style or fabric there is a stitch for it and this larger format reissue of the 2003 original is an essential resource for all levels of embroiderer.

Although a total beginner might be daunted by the sheer number of stitches, they could learn all the basics (and more) from this useful book.  As well as the stitches there are sections on all the essential topics from what you need to start through to choosing fabrics, working from charts, using a hoop and finishing off.  Turn to the back for a short section looking at various types of embroidery, both freestyle and canvas.  Each short description contains photographs and diagrams to whet the appetite, plus lists of stitches associated with the style and a brief history.  The bulk of the book is given to the stitches themselves, which are divided into two sections (fabric and canvas) and helpfully showcased at the front in a stitch selector.  The stitches are grouped in families eg line, chain, blanket, smocking, loops, pulled etc which makes searching for a stitch suitable for a particular effect or style easier.  Each stitch is shown photographed, and then how to work it is shown in one or more colored diagrams.  These are very clear because they are drawn with the thread a contrasting color to the background, which also contrasts with the white page.  They are also large enough to be easily seen, and backed up with written instructions.  At the base of the page the stitchs uses are given, plus any notes.  There is an index at the back, and a page showing more embroidery books by Search Press so you can take your knowledge further.  There are no patterns or projects but this is not that type of book; instead this is one you will never finish working through which is suitable for every level of embroiderer.  Highly recommended.

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