How to Sew a Cretan Stitch – Hand Embroidery

Learn a new embroidery stitch that is both
decorative and unique. The cretan stitch is a simple stitch but has
many variations to give you different looks. I’ll be showing you how to sew a closed
and open cretan stitch. Grab your needle and thread and let’s get
started. First I’ll show you how to create the open cretan stitch. Now make sure that your fabric is in an embroidery hoop and you draw 4 parallel lines. The closer the lines are together, the smaller the stitch will be. For this demo, I am going to label my lines A, B, C, and D. I prefer to do my stitch going vertical, but if you prefer doing horizontally, that’s up to you. The very first thing I’m going to do, I am coming up from underneath. And I’m going to start on line A. Pull my thread all the way through. Go down on line D. But instead of just going directly across I’m going to go down about 1/8 of an inch from where it is on point A. Before I pull this all the way through. Come up on line C now. And I’m coming up pretty much at the same line as line D, so they should be even across. I’m always keeping my excess thread here. Lower than where my stitch line is. Now I can pull it all the way through. So that’s my first stitch. I’m now going back to line A. Again instead of going directly across, I am going to go about 1/8 of an inch down from this. Before I pull my thread all the way through. Come up on line B now. And you can see they are pretty much even with each other. Again my thread is lower than my stitch line. Pull this all the way through. And now I am going to repeat the process. So line D going down about an 1/8 of an inch from where this line is. Go down on line D. Come up on line C before I pull it all the way through. Trying to keep my point C even with my point D. Pull this all the way through. And now go back to A. So when you are first starting, it is easier to create these lines. I’m just using a fabric marker that will disappear after 48 hours. Coming up at that point B. Because it just helps keep you organized. And now going back to D. So you just keep repeating over and over again. And you’ll see that you start forming A really cool, it’s kinda like a zig zag stitch. But they are interlocking in the center here. And that’s what gives it’s unique shape. So now i’m going to go back to A. And then come up at B. Once you have mastered the open Cretan stitch, you should have no problem with a closed Cretan stitch. The difference is that my stitches are going to be closer together. And my B and C line are also closer together. Now before we had them more evenly spaced but I just prefer these two center lines to be closer towards the center. I’m going to start off the same, coming up on line A. Again I’m going to go down on line D But this time you can go directly across, you don’t have to go 1/8 of an inch down. Before I pull all the way through. Come up on line C And it’s on that same plane as D and A. My excess thread is again lower than my stitch line. Pull this all the way through. Going back again to line A, so this should feel very familiar. Except this time I’m actually going Directly next to my first stitch line. So that maybe to close, so lets go a little further down. But this is the difference between the open previously where we went down a little bit and the closed where your pretty much doing your stitches right next to each other. Before I pull it all the way through come up on line B. Now I can pull it all the way through. And again, my excess stitch is below my stitch line as I pull it. Going back to D. So I’m just going a little ways away from that first stitch. Coming up on line C. And then going back to A, just below that. So this stitch takes a little bit longer that the previous stitch. Because those stitches are closer together you don’t go as fast. But it actually creates a really cool effect. Because what it’s doing is its creating flat stitches here on the end and then its intertwining the stitches here in the center, you can see they are kinda doing a small zig zag stitch. I kinda think of it as a spine. Where you have the ribs coming out here then you have it building up in the center creating more of a braided look. So going back to A. Coming up at B. Going to D, then coming up at C. And just keep repeating it untill your area is stitched as far as you would like it. Here are some finished examples. We have the open cretan. And A double cretan, where I just did two open cretans on top of each other, shifting one over. Both of these could be used as a decorative border or could be stitched on top of a seamline, like with a crazy quilt. My leaf is an example of a closed cretan stitch. In this case my B and C line are right next to each other so that the spine of my stitch is really skinny This type of stitch is being used as a filler stitch. Both variations of this stitch are really pretty and will make a wonderful addition to your project. We hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Please subscribe to get notified of our weekly
releases. Also, check out to
view our complete library with well over 350 sewing tutorials. If you would like to directly support us,
you can check out our patreon campaign and earn some exclusive perks. Thanks for watching!

One thought on “How to Sew a Cretan Stitch – Hand Embroidery

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *