Hand embroidery easy and neat lettering secret

embroidery handwriting

Do you want to stitch handwriting and make it look neat? There is nothing simpler! :)

There are many ways to work lettering in hand embroidery and I actually already prepared a post on this topic before:

I based that article mostly on the posts that I already had on the blog and I actually did mention the trick from today in passing there. But without the visual support of a picture it's likely that some might have missed that. And then I got questions about it after posting results of the Art of cozy project where I used this trick for the book title so I figured I should speak about it in more detail. 

Now, frankly speaking, I took it quite easy in that project because I wanted it to look a little awkward and quirky, as if scribbled hastily.

But the thing is, you can use the same trick to work very neat handwriting – whether it is a fun doodling type or exquisite cursive lettering :)

And the secret is very easy – just use back stitch for the base and then whip it!

Here are the pictures for comparison.

embroidery handwriting

The picture on the top is what you can get by working tiny back stitch in one strand of thread. The picture below is the same lettering after being whipped. It makes the lettering look bolder, smoother, and even a little more dimensional.

It is actually difficult to see here because the thread is dark (by the way, that's another tip in itself – if you want to work back stitched lettering it is better to use darker thread) but the separate stitches in such cases do tend to stand out a little.

You will see the difference clearer here:

embroidery handwriting

This one makes it VERY clear, right?

When you work back stitching in this type of handwriting, when the size of the lettering is small and the letters cling close to each other, and, even worse, when they are one continuous line like in cursive writing, you have to work your stitches smaller which makes the individual stitches more distinct. And if you happen to use a lighter color of thread, the result is not likely to look as good on the fabric as in your mind...

So, what you need is to simply whip all the stitches!

embroidery handwriting

Extra tips:

  • The smaller your back stitches are, the smoother the result will be after whipping;
  • Always slide the needle under the stitches from the same side; 
  • When you whip the stitches, make sure the needle doesn't go over the working thread but instead is always under it. If you accidentally pull the needle over the thread, you will get a loop like in raised detached buttonhole;
  • If you want to use expensive thread for lettering (like silk) and don't want to waste it for the back stitched base, just use another thread of similar color for it;
  • When you work cursive lettering, start from the first letter (I made a mistake here, oops).

Now that you know this little secret make sure to include lovely lettering to your next projects :)


  1. Thank you, such a lovely result and ingenious solution! I'm definitely going to incorporation this into my next lettering stitching.

  2. That's really nice! I don't embroider a lot, but at least I'll know this when I start! :D


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