Chain stitch is a sewing and embroidery technique in which a series of looped stitches form a chain-like pattern.
Chain stitch is an ancient craft – examples of surviving Chinese chain stitch embroidery worked in silk thread have been dated to the Warring States period (5th – 3rd century BC). Handmade chain stitch embroidery does not require that the needle pass through more than one layer of fabric. For this reason the stitch is an effective surface embellishment near seams on finished fabric. Because chain stitches can form flowing, curved lines, they are used in many surface embroidery styles that mimic “drawing” in thread.
Chain stitches are also used in making tambour lace, needlelace, macramé and crochet.