Satin stitching

Satin stitch can be used for outlines or fills. It is well-suited to borders and thicker outlines. It is also well-suited to narrower shapes where the stitch run the entire width of the column. Satin stitches are almost parallel. Because there are generally no needle penetrations breaking up the fill, satin stitch creates a glossy, high-quality effect. Satin stitch can be used with any of the digitizing tools.

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Use Object Properties > Outline > Satin to create thicker borders or columns of even thickness.

Use Object Properties > Outline > 3D Satin to create raised satin borders – can be used with trapunto for quilting effects.

Satin lines

Use Satin line to create thicker borders. Use 3D Satin line to create raised embroidery designs consisting of multiple layers of satin stitching. Stitch spacing and width can be adjusted before or after digitizing via Object Properties.

Use Select > Reshape to adjust object outlines, stitch angles, start and end points, curved lines, etc.

Line thickness

Satin line width can be controlled either by means of the Width setting in Object Properties, or interactively, using the Reshape tool and dragging the sizing handles. Use the Offset setting if you want your Satin line to overlap the boundary of a filled shape. This will stop gaps from appearing.


Stitch density

Stitch spacing is the distance in millimeters between two needle penetrations on the same side of a shape. Where it is very narrow, stitches need to be less dense because too many needle penetrations can damage the fabric.

Where a border narrows, stitches are tight, thus requiring fewer stitches to cover the fabric. The Automatic setting adjusts stitch spacing for satin stitches according to outline width. For objects of varying width, Automatic adjusts spacing accordingly.

Use Object Properties > Fill > Satin to create stitch fills for narrow shapes and thick borders.

Use Object Properties > Fill > 3D Satin to create raised surfaces – can be applied to lettering or used with trapunto for quilting effects.

Satin fills

Satin fill is well-suited to narrow borders and shapes where the length of each stitch runs the width of the shape. Satin stitches are almost parallel, with every second stitch slightly slanted. Because there are generally no needle penetrations breaking up the fill, satin creates a glossy, high-quality effect.

Embroidery machines have a maximum possible stitch length which is determined by the physical frame movement. If a stitch exceeds this, it is generally broken into smaller stitches of equal length. The line formed by needle penetrations can affect the appearance of the embroidery, especially satin fills.

There are two techniques for handling unwanted split lines - automatic splits and automatic jumps...

Automatic splits

Auto Split breaks long satin stitches into shorter ones. But it also distributes needle penetrations in a random pattern so that they do not form a line down the middle of the shape.


While Auto Split is used primarily to prevent long stitches in wide shapes, it can also be used as an alternative to Tatami fill. Auto Split looks more satin-like and works well with turning stitches, creating soft lines and a little more depth. By contrast, Tatami fill is flat and can show unwanted patterns with tight curves.

Typically, 3D Satin is used to create extra body in satin objects for visual effect and to provide a raised or 'sculpted' surface. See also Raised embroidery.

Automatic jumps

Apply Auto Jump to satin objects with stitches that exceed the maximum stitch length. If the cover stitches are short, extending them with a jump makes them looser and thus more effectively raised off the fabric. Auto Jump can be used, for example, with manually digitized underlays. It can also be used to create quilted effects, for example, by applying it to satin areas that are over-stitched with Run stitch or Motif Fill.

Use Digitize > Digitize Blocks to digitize shapes of varying width with turning stitching.

Turning satin

In addition to normal digitizing tools, the Digitize Blocks tool can be used with Satin to create turning fills of varying width.

  • Digitize the column by marking points on alternate sides of the column. Click to enter corner points. Right-click to enter curve points.
  • The control points in a pair do not have to be the same type. For example, one can be a corner point, the other a curve.
  • If you make a mistake, press <Backspace> to delete the last point. Press <Esc> to undo all new points. Press <Esc> again to exit digitizing mode.
  • When you have finished digitizing, either:
    • Press <Enter> to keep the last stitch and place the exit point at the last point you digitized, or
    • Press <Spacebar> to omit the last stitch and place the exit point on the opposite side of the column.

Use Digitize > Digitize Open Line to create a row of run or other outline stitching along a digitized line. Left-click for corner points, right-click for curves.

Use Object Properties > Outline > Satin to create thicker borders or columns of even thickness.

Calligraphic turning satin

Satin lines, both open and closed, include a 'calligraphy' setting which allows you to specify an angle like an italic pen nib. Generally you will use this setting with Digitize Open Line but it can also be applied to Digitize Closed Shape with Line stitching selected.

The same setting can be used with Freehand tools to create more interesting ‘calligraphic’ effects. See Freehand.