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What Does “Channel Stitch” Mean?

abcameo | Posted in General Sewing Info on

In the new (Sept. 06) issue, the captions on Elizabeth Wilson’s blouses shown in the article on Patchwork refer to “channel stitch.”

Would someone please explain if this is a type of machine stitch or does it mean “stitch in the ditch” or what??
Many thanks,


  1. SewNancy | | #1

    It is ####plain stitch that is done at regular intervals, like topstitching, but wider apart and usually it is quilting the fabric to a light batting and backing fabric.

    1. abcameo | | #2

      So I think you're saying it's the stitch that's depicted as 3 little lines together then it moves down to the next line of 3?? My sewing manual refers to it as a "Sculpture Stitch."
      Kind of like this?

      1. sewchris703 | | #4

        No, it's sewing multiple lines of straight stitches, like this:




        On unquilted fabric, I usually do them the width of my pressure foot apart.  If the fabric/garment is quited, then the lines are farther apart, depending on the thickness of the batting (anywhere from a layer of muslin to 10 oz batting).


        1. abcameo | | #5

          Thanks so much for clearing that up. If I were doing the patchwork style discussed in this article, I don't think I'd go with channel stitching after all, now that I know what it is. I'd prefer some kind of utilitarian but decorative stitch on the edges of the fabric patches, I think. The photos weren't close up enough to show any of the stitchwork. I would have been curious to see the channel stitching on the actual blouses featured in the article.

          1. SewNancy | | #6

            The traditional quilting of the lining to the material on a Chanel jacket is channel quilted. No batting, but the fabric is somewhat substantial. The channel stitching provides not only stability, because of no interfacing, but keeps the 2 together.

          2. marijke | | #7

            If you look very closely, you can see the channel stitching on at least on of the photos.  If you channel stitch, you'll have a lot of raw edges that will fray.  How much will depend on the fabric you use -- whether it tends to fray badly or just a bit. 

            By doing what you suggest (stitching around the edges of the patches) you control the fraying more, but get a different look.

            It all depends on what look you're after.  I'd do a sample to be able to judge what it will look like after washing.


  2. User avater
    Becky-book | | #3

    It is not a special stitch on your machine.

    It is something you do with your cloth.  Straight stitch rows, done at regular intervals, down the length of your cloth. (you decide the width)

    Clear as mud?


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