How to work a Raised Chain Band

How to work a Raised Chain Band

Raised Chain Band is a lovely stitch that gives a great texture to your embroidery. It is often used for stems in Crewel embroidery. For this example I have worked one band down the centre of the ladder, however you could fill the ladder with several bands so that none of the ladder is visible.


Step 1 

Begin by bringing your needle up on the left hand side at the base of your stem or line that you would like to fill with Raised Chain Band, making sure that you leave 2mm from the very base.

Raised chain band


Step 2

Take a stitch down on the line, on the opposite side, keeping the stitch at 90 degrees with the two drawn lines. Bring your needle 2-3mm above your first stitch and up on the same side that you just took your needle down.

Raised chain band


Step 3

Take your needle down on the left hand side, making sure your stitches are neat. By bringing your needle up on the same side as you have just taken it down, it helps to reduce any bulky stitching on the back. Continue working up the stem. You will notice that the angle of the ladder stitches turns with the drawn lines you are following. This will give you a nice flowing raised chain band.

Raised chain band


Step 4 

Your ladder stitches should look like this when you have reached the top of your line.

Raised chain band


Step 5

I choose to work the ladder and chain band in two separate colours, the lighter being used for the chain band, but you could use the same colour if you wish. With a new needle and thread secured into the fabric, take your needle up, slightly further away from the last ladder stitch and in the centre of the ladder.

Raised chain band


Step 6

Take your needle over and back under the first bar so that your needle is pointing towards the top of your design, leaving the thread to the right.

Raised chain band


Step 7

Pull the thread tight so that it doesn’t loop but not so tight that it distorts the position of the bar.

Take your needle back under the first bar, with your needle facing towards the bottom of the design. You will be creating a loop and you must make sure your needle sits on top of the loop.

Raised chain band


Step 8

Again pull the thread tight so you form a nice chain shape over the bar, not too tight that it distorts the bar underneath.

Raised chain band


Step 9

Bring your needle, over and under the second bar with your needle pointing towards the top of your design, just as you did in step 6.

Raised chain band


Step 10

Take you needle under the second bar to the right of stitch you just made. You will be forming a loop and you must remember to take your needle over the top and through the loop, just the same as step 7.

Raised stem band


Step 11

Continue working down the stem, repeating steps 9 and 10 until you reach the bottom of your stem. You can then take your needle down through the fabric at the base of the stem to finish your stitches off. Your finished Raised Chain Band should look like the image below.

Raised chain band


I hope you have found this tutorial useful. Please feel free to leave any comments or feedback.

Happy Stitching!


This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Deborah

    This is such a lovely stitch to work – thank you for showing me – have put it into my RSN crewel work piece!

    1. sara meanwell

      My pleasure, it is one of my favourite stitches too as it creates just so much texture.

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