woven wheel stitch

How to Do a Woven Wheel Stitch? Step-By-Step

This guide will teach you how to use the woven wheel stitch, a very common and enjoyable hand embroidery technique.

The woven wheel stitch is a simple-to-learn embroidery technique that has a lot of power. It is sometimes referred to as woven rose stitch and, as its name implies, it creates a circle of woven thread that resembles a wheel or rose. The woven wheel is referred to as one stitch even though it actually consists of several stitches.

A thicker and more dimensional stitch can be created by weaving this stitch very tightly, or a softer and flatter stitch can be created by weaving it slightly looser. Try different things and see what appeals to you. Here is how:

Woven Wheel Step-by-step Tutorial

The spokes and the weaving that surrounds them make up the woven wheel stitch. To allow for continuous weaving, the spokes, which are made with straight stitches, must be odd in number. The process of weaving spirals outward from the center as the needle and thread pass over, under, over, under, around, and around to the edges.

To avoid unintentionally severing other threads while weaving, use a blunt tapestry needle.

Equipment / Tools

  • Embroidery hoop sized for practice cloth
  • Embroidery needle, size between 1 and 5
  • Tapestry needle, size between 22 and 24, for weaving (optional)
  • Small sharp scissors
  • Pencil or water-soluble marker
  • Ruler


  • A small square of cotton fabric for practicing
  • Six-strand embroidery floss

If you are just starting to learn how to sew, go ahead and mark your fabric with a few practice lines for your five spokes as shown below. Use a ruler and a pencil or water-soluble pen.

Fill the hoop with the fabric. Thread the embroidery needle with a length of six-strand embroidery floss 12 to 14 inches long. Knot the other end.

Start by creating a star shape with five straight stitches by moving the needle up and down through the fabric. If possible, make sure that each stitch is the same length and spaced evenly.

  1. Bring the needle near the center up through the back. Start by weaving the needle over and under each spoke with a straight stitch. Avoid using your hand to snag any of the threads.
  2. If you want to completely fill the circle and hide all of the spokes, keep weaving around them.
  3. Put the needle underneath the edge of the weaving at a spoke.

When weaving, if you run out of thread, bring the needle to the back, secure it, and pick up a new thread where you left off, continuing to weave as you usually would.

Woven Wheel Tips

woven wheel stitch
  • More strands of floss (I’m using 6 strands in the demonstration) will result in a fuller rose
  • Using variegated floss can create a beautiful dimensional effect
  • Using the back end of your needle will help prevent piercing the fabric or the spokes of the wheel
  • Take care when working around other stitches to not snag them
  • If you’re making a bigger rose, add more spokes (use an uneven number) to create a rounder rose
  • Don’t try to be perfect when winding around your spokes — the floss not sitting perfectly will add dimension and interest to each rose
  • The length of floss used in the demonstrations was approximately 18-24″ long
  • It might be easier to do your woven wheel roses first, then work the rose stems and nearby details

More Examples and Ideas for Use

Making this stitch has a wide range of options. To make a dense and substantial flower, you can weave closely around the spokes. Another option is to weave more loosely, only tight enough to bring the threads together so they touch.

The looser weave makes a much flatter flower, which can almost look too flat to be considered a “woven rose.” To give the completed flower a fuller appearance, fluff it up a little with your finger.

Even though it’s only one color that’s shown here, it’s simple to switch colors as you go along to make multi-color flowers or other motifs.

You can also leave the middle unstitched, which will allow you to fill it with other stitches like french knots. To accomplish this, stitch the spokes together so that their middles are separated.

Silk ribbon embroidery frequently uses the woven wheel stitch as well. Use one piece of embroidery floss to stitch the spokes to give it a try. After that, weave a ribbon. Pay close attention to the ribbon’s twists, folds, and turns as you move around the circle to achieve the desired effect.

If you add this to your knowledge of stitches, you’ll be creating enormous roses and floral vistas in no time!

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