Alternating Barred Chain Stitch

a member of the chain stitch family

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a step by step illustration of alternating barred chain stitch

To work Alternating Barred chain stitch you need to be familiar with Barred chain stitch, and its components chain stitch and twisted chain stitch.

Alternating Barred chain is easy if you know these two stitches for it is simply a line of a single chain stitch followed by a twisted chain stitch.

The twisted chain is worked first to the left and then to the right, swinging back and forth as you work down the line.


a step by step illustration of alternating barred chain stitch

As a stitch Alternating Barred chain follows a curve well producing a thorny line. The longer the spines of the twisted chain the more the spikiness is emphasized. A large variety of threads can be used from the finest silk to ribbon, the size of the stitch will be influenced by the weight of the thread used and your spacing. It is also a stitch easily worked on all types of fabrics and equally effective when worked in straight lines or following curves. This means it is ideal for those who are interested in Crazy quilting and works well in floral motifs. Since Alternating Barred Chain stitch holds its appeal on its textured nature you can successfully combine with other textured stitches such as buttonhole bars and knots such as French knots, Colonial knot and Bullion knot.

Combine other textured stitches with explorations varying the length of the spines on the twisted chain, or the size of the chain, spacing of the spines, width of the line, weight and texture of the thread, and this should keep most contemporary embroiderers intrigued.

Chain stitch Family:

There are many other stitches in this group. The stitches that I have listed here in the chain stitch family are: