Ladder stitch is a surface embroidery stitch that resembles a ladder. It has straight stitches that look like rungs on a ladder. Edges on both sides are made with chain stitches.
The chains on the edges are worked similar to reverse chain stitch. So knowing reverse chain stitch might help.
This stitch might look intimidating but fear not as it is quiet simple. The first few stitches might not look very perfect. Don’t give up and you will get better with practice.
The stitch is worked from side to side. Remember to keep the tension on the thread uniform. For this stitch to be perfect, the rungs of the ladder have to be parallel to each other and also perpendicular to the edges. If you are new to embroidery, try this first on aida fabric.
Ladder stitch tutorial
Start at A and made a long straight stitch from A to B.
Pick up a few strands of fabric and come back up at C.
From C, pierce the fabric at D and come back up at E. D and E will be on the same level horizontally.
The stitch will now look like this.
Take the needle up and pass it under this first rung. Note how the needle is above the working thread. This will form a loop around the first rung on the left side.
Gently push this loop all the way to the left side.
Now the straight stitch has a loop on both the left and the right side.
To stitch the next rung, pass the needle under the first rung and the loop around it on the right side. Note the direction of the needle.
The second rung of the ladder has been anchored and it will look like this now.
Now repeat the above mentioned steps. Go down at F on the right edge and come back up at G on the left side edge.
Keep the needle in between and parallel to the two rungs of the ladder and pass the needle through the loop that passes over the previous rung,
Make the next rung by going to the right side and passing needle under the loop around the previous rung.
Then as mentioned before go down and come back on the left side.
Keep the needle in between the last 2 rungs and pass it through the loop around the last rung.
And repeat the steps to make the next rung.
Can you see that after stitching the third rung, the pattern is looking more and more like a ladder?
Make straight stitch from left to right and pass needle under loop around previous rung to anchor it.
Then form a loop around this rung and go down on the right side and come back up on the left side.
Keep needle parallel and in between the last two rungs and lace needle through the loop on the previous ladder rung.
Completed work will look like this.