Binding Stitch

By Shana Benhayoun

BINDING A STITCH:

They say it takes one hour to stitch one square inch in needlepoint (on 18 mesh). Multiply that by MANY hours spent stitching and you want to make sure that your projects will last a life time!

In the olden days, needlepointers used to spend their time making pillows and pieces to be framed. Today, stitches want to make projects that can be used in everyday life such as belts, key fobs, patches on jackets and makeup bags. When making projects such as these that get so much wear-and-tear, you will want to make sure to add the binding stitch to the edge of your canvas.

Here is a list of projects that should be receiving a binding stitch:

  • Belts
  • Key Fobs
  • Dog Collars/Leashes
  • Cuff Bracelets
  • Coasters
  • Purse Straps
  • Sunglass Cases
  • Wallets
  • Patches

SO LET'S START WITH THE WHY:

The binding stitch adds a sturdy edge to your needlepoint and basically becomes a border for your stitches. For example, if you are stitching a belt, just think about how many times the edge of the belt will rub the belt loop or how much abuse that key fob is going to get in the bottom of your purse. The binding stitch allows for that abuse and still withholds the integrity of the stitches.

NEXT IS THE HOW:

The binding stitch is done once ALL the stitches on the project are complete. You cannot do the binding stitch unless you have 100% finished stitching the entire project. Many people are scared of the binding stitch because they imagine it to be difficult but really, once you get the hang of it, it is like riding a bike!

Lets break it down by steps (& please ignore my chipped manicure!):

1. Anchor the end of your thread behind your stitches.
2. Come up from the back in the hole next to your last stitch (you should be starting on the top left
3. Turn the back of the canvas so it is facing your body (design facing away from you)
4. Fold over the edge enough so that you have one hole on the top of the edge
5. Count 2 holes down and one to the left and that is where you put your first stitch (you are starting one stitch in…I will show you why in a few more steps)
6. Put the needle through vertically so that it goes behind the hole that is on the top of your edge and out through the shared hole on the edge of your canvas 
7. Come around to the bottom and one stitch to the left. Make another vertical stitch up going behind the hole that is on the top edge and out through the shared hole with the edge of your canvas (you should now have two slightly slanted vertical stitches next to each other)
8. Here is why we moved one stitch in on the first stitch – you are now going to count back (to the right) three stitches. Your first count should be the bottom of your last stitch. When you get to the third stitch (should be an empty hole for this first back count), you do the same vertical stitch
9. Your next stitch is going to be in the next EMPTY hole to the left. You make a vertical stitch. Remember, you always start your next stitch at the BOTTOM of the edge and come up in the shared hole.
10. Now you count back three holes and make a vertical stitch.
  1. Next EMPTY hole to the left. Vertical stitch.
  1. Count back three stitches…you get the hang of it now!
  1. Here is what is should look like at the end. It should resemble a herringbone patterns

Here is the full-length video for your reference:

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