How To End An Embroidery Stitch

Embroidery is a beautiful and intricate art form that involves creating decorative designs on fabric using various stitches. Knowing how to end an embroidery stitch properly is essential to ensure your work looks neat and professional. Here, we’ll guide you through the steps to end an embroidery stitch effectively.

Materials You’ll Need


Finish stitching your design up to the point where you want to end the thread. Ensure that you have at least a couple of inches (5-10 cm) of thread left to work with.

2. Loop the Thread Under

Take your needle to the backside of the fabric (the wrong side) at the point where you want to end the stitch. Make sure the needle goes under the existing stitches on the backside, securing it in place.

3. Make a Small Knot

Create a small knot by wrapping the thread around the needle once or twice. Hold the wrapped thread close to the fabric to prevent it from slipping off the needle. This knot helps anchor the thread securely.

4. Pull the Needle Through

Gently pull the needle and the wrapped thread through to the wrong side of the fabric. The knot should sit snugly against the back of the fabric. Ensure that you don’t pull too tight, as this can distort the front of your embroidery.

5. Trim Excess Thread

Using your scissors, carefully trim the excess thread, leaving a small tail of about 1/4 inch (0.5 cm). Make sure not to cut too close to the knot to avoid unraveling. Trimming the thread close to the knot ensures a clean finish.

6. Secure Loose Ends

To ensure the thread doesn’t come undone over time, you can apply a small dab of clear fabric glue or a fabric-specific adhesive on the knot. This is particularly useful for delicate fabrics or if you’re gifting or selling your embroidery work. Allow the glue to dry completely before handling the fabric.

7. Weave in the Tail (Optional)

For extra security, especially if your embroidery will receive a lot of wear and washing, you can weave the remaining thread tail under existing stitches on the backside. This adds an extra layer of reinforcement and helps prevent the thread from coming loose.

Tips and Considerations

  • Practice Makes Perfect: It may take a bit of practice to create a neat and secure ending to your embroidery stitches. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t look perfect the first time; with practice, your skills will improve.
  • Thread Selection: Be mindful of thread thickness and color when ending stitches. You want the ending to blend seamlessly with the rest of your design.
  • Consistency: Try to be consistent with your ending technique throughout your embroidery project to maintain a uniform appearance.
  • Experiment: Depending on your project and personal preference, you can explore different ways to end stitches, such as weaving the thread under existing stitches or using a different knotting method.

Securing a Knot

No.TechniqueStepsPurposeTools/Supplies Needed
1Knot and Clip1. Make a knot at the end of the thread.Prevents unravelingEmbroidery floss, scissors
2. Trim excess thread close to the knot.
2Backstitch1. Bring the needle to the back of the fabric.Creates a secure holdEmbroidery needle, fabric
2. Take small backstitches in the same spot.
3Weaving Under Stitches1. Insert the needle under existing stitches.Conceals loose endsEmbroidery needle, fabric
2. Weave under for about half an inch.
4French Knot1. Create a French knot at the end of the thread.Adds decorative finishEmbroidery floss, fabric, needle
2. Secure with additional knots if needed.
5Thread Fusion1. Melt the thread end with a thread burner.Bonds threads togetherThread burner, embroidery floss

Using a Waste Knot

No.TechniqueStepsPurposeTools/Supplies Needed
1Starting with a Waste Knot1. Begin with a separate waste knot away from your design area.Temporary anchorEmbroidery floss, fabric
2. Stitch your design, passing the needle through the waste knot.
3. Cut the waste knot close to the fabric surface.
2Burying the Tail1. Leave a tail at the back of your work.Conceals loose endsEmbroidery floss, fabric
2. As you embroider, weave the tail under stitches.
3French Knot on Tail1. Create a French knot with the tail end.Adds a decorative finishEmbroidery floss, needle
2. Secure with additional knots if necessary.
4Loop and Tack1. Form a loop with the tail and tack it down.Secures the threadEmbroidery floss, needle, fabric
2. Conceal the tail by stitching over it.
5Weaving the Tail1. Weave the tail under existing stitches.Conceals and securesEmbroidery needle, fabric

Locking Stitches

No.TechniqueStepsPurposeTools/Supplies Needed
1Backstitch Lock1. Take a small backstitch at the end of your thread.Secures the stitchEmbroidery needle, fabric
2. Pass the needle under the last stitch and pull tight.
2Knot and Hide1. Make a knot close to the fabric surface.Hides the knotEmbroidery floss, needle
2. Insert the needle under stitches and trim close.
3Running Stitch Lock1. Make several running stitches at the end.Prevents unravelingEmbroidery floss, fabric
2. Pull tight, then trim excess thread.
4Chain Stitch Lock1. Finish with a small chain stitch.Adds a decorative finishEmbroidery floss, fabric, needle
2. Secure with additional knots if needed.
5Buttonhole Stitch Lock1. Complete a buttonhole stitch at the end.Secures the stitchEmbroidery floss, fabric, needle

Specialized Techniques

No.TechniqueStepsPurposeTools/Supplies Needed
1Loom-Knotted Tail1. Create a loop with the thread tail.Adds a unique finishEmbroidery floss, loom
2. Pass the needle through the loop and pull tight.
2Quilting Knot1. Make a knot at the end of the thread.Quilting-specific finishEmbroidery floss, fabric
2. Insert the needle into the batting layer and back up.
3Tailored Blanket Stitch1. Finish with a tailored blanket stitch.Neat edge finishEmbroidery floss, fabric, needle
2. Secure with additional stitches if needed.
4Crochet Stitch Finishing1. Complete the stitch with a crochet technique.Adds a crochet touchCrochet thread, crochet hook
2. Fasten off securely.
5Bead Embroidery Finishing1. Secure beads with a final stitch.Enhances beadworkBeads, embroidery floss, needle

Tips for Neat Endings

No.TechniqueStepsPurposeTools/Supplies Needed
1Thread TensionMaintain even tension while ending stitches.Prevents puckeringEmbroidery hoop, fabric
2Thread LengthLeave a reasonable tail for securing.Easier to work withEmbroidery scissors
3Thread TypeUse a thread type suitable for your project.Achieves desired lookAppropriate embroidery thread
4Secure GraduallySecure threads periodically as you work.Reduces bulkNeedle, fabric


By mastering the art of ending embroidery stitches, you’ll ensure that your handiwork is not only visually appealing but also durable and long-lasting. With practice and attention to detail, you can elevate your embroidery projects to a professional level, creating stunning pieces of art that stand the test of time.


How To End An Embroidery Stitch

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