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How to Embroider on a Knitted Scarf

You can add detail to the simplest scarf or hat with a duplicate stitch.
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If you have a knitted scarf that you wish to personalize, one method to use is embroidery. The nature of knitted fabric, the way it folds and flows easily, makes it difficult to use traditional embroidery stitches without stiffening the knitted item. There is, however, an embroidery stitch that works very well with knitted fabric, called duplicate stitch or Swiss darning. Duplicate stitches lie on top of the stitches of your scarf and look the same, allowing for the same flexibility and range of motion as the original knitting.

Things You'll Need:

  • Scissors
  • Scarf
  • Embroidery Needle
  • Design Charted Out On Graph Paper
  • Yarn Of The Same Size As Used For The Scarf In The Colors Of Your Design

Lay your scarf out so that the stitches look like little "V's." Decide where you want your embroidered design to go. Compare the design chart to the fabric of your scarf and choose a starting point.

Thread the needle with the color of your design. If your design has two or more colors, start from the inside of your design and work outward.

Pick up the scarf and hold it in your left hand, making sure you don't pull the fabric so it stretches, nor so loosely that it bunches up. Allow the fabric to settle into its natural, unstretched tension and then maintain it.

Take your needle around to the back of the scarf (the side not facing you). Push the needle through from back to front at the base of the first stitch, the bottom of the "V" you are covering, leaving a trailing end of yarn about 4 to 6 inches long. You will deal with it later, but for now don't pull the yarn too tightly as you work to prevent pulling it through.

Bring the needle up to the top of the right leg of the "V" and push it through again to the back. Bring it back through the fabric from back to front at the top of the left leg of the same "V" and back down to the point where you started, covering one stitch.

Work duplicate stitches in horizontal rows, moving from right to left as you go, to fill in your pattern.

Weave the ends of your embroidery yarn through the stitches of your scarf when you are done.


The embroidered design will be visible only on one side of your scarf.

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