How to blind stitch in upholstery

Written by jean breeding
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Few things give greater satisfaction than completing a do-it-yourself project that has a professional appearance. Attention to small details makes the difference. An upholstery project certainly is no exception. Using the blind stitch can give your home upholstery project that "pro" look. This stitch, also known as the tacking stitch or invisible stitch, is done on the top of the fabric. It is the stitch you should use for sewing seams along the back/side edges of chairs or sofas and for closing pillows and cushions. If you do it correctly, it is virtually invisible.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Upholstery thread
  • Upholstery needle
  • Pins

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  1. 1

    Carefully join your upholstery seam with pins. Do not pull the fabric too tight. Fabric should be snug but should not stretch to fit. Adjust by adding or reducing the amount of seam allowance. Match patterns or plaids as needed.

  2. 2

    Thread your upholstery needle with about 18 inches of upholstery thread and make a knot on one end.

  3. 3

    Begin your seam by bringing the needle through the fabric from underneath, close to the edge. Hide the knot inside the fold. Catch the opposite edge from the top and run your needle about 1/4 inch under that edge.

  4. 4

    Bring your needle up close to the edge on the first side and pull your thread taut. Do not pull your stitches too tight or your seam will pucker. Continue stitching very close to the seam edges, taking small stitches. The stitching should be almost invisible.

  5. 5

    When you have completed your seam, take two or three horizontal stitches across the seam and then loop your thread through those stitches to form a knot. Clip your thread close to the fabric.

Tips and warnings

  • Upholstery needles are curved, heavy gauge needles designed for hand stitching seams along stiff surfaces, such as the sides of chairs. Upholstery thread is a heavy-duty thread that will not break when going through thick upholstery fabric.
  • If your seams are not completely smooth, use a drapery steamer to ease any puckers.

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