Learn how to mattress stitch in knitting

Learn how to mattress stitch in knitting

If you’re a knitter, you know that finishing your projects neatly and professionally is just as important as the knitting itself. One skill every knitter should master is the art of mattress stitch. This technique allows you to invisibly join knitted pieces together, leaving a seamless and polished finish. Whether you’re working on a garment, a blanket, or any other knitted item, the mattress stitch can take your knitting to the next level.

The mattress stitch is a popular seaming technique because it creates a nearly invisible join between two pieces of knitting. It involves sewing up the side seams or shoulder seams using a tapestry needle and matching yarn. The end result is a smooth, flat seam that mimics the look of the knitted stitches, making it difficult to see where the pieces have been joined.

Learning how to do the mattress stitch may seem intimidating at first, but with practice, you’ll become a pro. The key to success is to take your time and be patient. Start by pinning the pieces together with locking stitch markers or safety pins to ensure they stay aligned. Then, using a long length of yarn, thread your tapestry needle and insert it under the first horizontal bar of the edge stitch on one side. Repeat this process on the other side, pulling the needle through each corresponding bar.

With a little practice and attention to detail, you’ll soon master the art of mattress stitch in knitting. This essential technique will open up a world of possibilities for your knitting projects. No longer will you have to settle for bulky or unsightly seams. Instead, you’ll be able to create beautiful, seamless pieces that showcase your knitting skills. So grab your knitting needles, some yarn, and start practicing this invaluable technique today!

What is mattress stitch?

The mattress stitch is a sewing technique used in knitting to join two pieces of knitted fabric together. It creates an invisible seam that blends seamlessly into the knitted fabric, making it ideal for projects where a seamless appearance is desired.

To execute the mattress stitch, you will need a tapestry needle and matching yarn or thread. The technique involves threading the needle through the edges of the two pieces to be joined, creating a series of stitches that mimic the look of the knit stitches. This stitch is versatile and can be used to join pieces both horizontally and vertically.

When done correctly, the mattress stitch creates a nearly invisible seam, allowing the finished project to look like it was knitted in one seamless piece. It is often used to join the sides of a sweater, the pieces of a blanket, or the front and back of a knitted toy.

The mattress stitch is also a great technique to use when adding borders or finishing touches to a project. It provides a neat, professional-looking finish that elevates the overall appearance of the knitted item.

Learning how to master the art of mattress stitch is an important skill for knitters at all levels. With practice, you can achieve seamless, professional-looking seams that enhance the overall quality of your knitted projects.

Why is mattress stitch important in knitting?

The mattress stitch is an essential technique in knitting that is used to seam or join pieces of knitting together. It is commonly used to sew up seams in items such as sweaters, cardigans, scarves, and blankets.

There are several reasons why the mattress stitch is important in knitting:

  1. Invisible seams: The mattress stitch creates nearly invisible seams, allowing the finished project to look seamless and professional. The technique involves sewing the pieces together from the wrong side, resulting in a clean and seamless appearance from the right side.
  2. Strength and durability: The mattress stitch creates a strong and durable seam. By weaving the yarn through the stitches of each piece, the seam becomes secure and less likely to come undone with wear and tear.
  3. Flexibility: The mattress stitch provides flexibility in joining pieces together. It allows the knitter to easily adjust the tension of the seam, ensuring that the finished project lays flat and fits properly.
  4. Professional finish: Using the mattress stitch results in a professional finish to the knitted project. The seams are neat and tidy, making the finished item look polished and well-crafted.
  5. Easy to learn: While the mattress stitch may seem intimidating at first, it is actually quite easy to learn and master. Once you understand the basic steps, you can use this technique to seam various knitted projects with confidence.

Overall, the mattress stitch is an important skill for knitters to learn as it allows them to create professional-looking, seamless, and durable finished projects. Mastering this technique will open up a world of possibilities for creating beautifully constructed knitted items.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Prepare your materials:

    • Two knitted pieces that need to be sewn together
    • Yarn in a matching color
    • Tapestry needle
    • Scissors
  2. Thread the tapestry needle:

    Take a length of yarn and thread it through the eye of the tapestry needle. Leave a long tail at the end to secure the yarn later.

  3. Start at the bottom:

    Place the two knitted pieces with the right sides facing up. Begin stitching at the bottom of the pieces, aligning the edges together.

  4. Insert the needle:

    Insert the needle under the first horizontal bar (or stitch) on the edge of one of the knitted pieces. Then, on the other piece, insert it under the corresponding horizontal bar.

  5. Repeat the stitching:

    Continue inserting the needle under the horizontal bars on each piece, back and forth, keeping the stitches even and consistent.

  6. Secure the end:

    When you reach the end of the seam, insert the needle through the last two stitches and pull it tight. Weave in the loose ends to secure the stitch.

  7. Repeat for other edges:

    Follow the same steps for the remaining edges that need to be sewn together, making sure to align the pieces and maintain even stitching.

  8. Finish the project:

    Once all the edges are stitched together, weave in any remaining loose ends and trim the excess yarn. Your knitted project is now complete!

Prepare your materials

Prepare your materials

Before you start mastering the art of mattress stitch in knitting, you should gather all the materials you need:

  • Knitting needles
  • Yarn in the same color and weight as your knitted pieces
  • Tapestry needle
  • Scissors

Make sure the knitting needles and yarn you choose match the gauge of your knitted pieces. This will ensure that the mattress stitch creates an invisible seam.

It’s also a good idea to have a swatch of the knitting pattern you used to create your knitted pieces. This will help you practice the mattress stitch and ensure you understand the stitch pattern before working on your actual project.

Once you have all your materials ready, you can move on to the next step, which is preparing your knitted pieces for stitching.

Set up your project

To master the art of mattress stitch in knitting, you will need the following materials:

  • Two knitted pieces that you want to seam together
  • A tapestry needle with a blunt tip
  • Scissors
  • Yarn in the same color as your knitted pieces

Before you begin seaming your project, make sure that both knitted pieces are blocked and have their stitches aligned. Blocking helps to relax the fibers and creates a smoother finish for the seam.

Once your knitted pieces are ready to be seamed, wind a separate piece of yarn into a small ball or thread it onto your tapestry needle. This will be used for seaming.

Joining the pieces using mattress stitch

The mattress stitch is a great technique for joining knitted pieces together seamlessly, giving your project a professional and polished look. Here’s how you can master the art of mattress stitch:

  1. Step 1: Lay the pieces to be joined side by side, with the right sides facing up. Make sure the edges you want to sew together are aligned.
  2. Step 2: Thread a yarn needle with a length of yarn that matches your knitting.
  3. Step 3: Starting from the bottom edge, insert the needle into the first stitch on the front piece, going from right to left.
  4. Step 4: On the back piece, insert the needle into the corresponding stitch directly above the first stitch on the front piece, going from left to right. This creates a diagonal line.
  5. Step 5: Continue stitching in this way, alternating between the front and back pieces. Make sure to always insert the needle under the bars between the stitches, rather than through the loops.
  6. Step 6: After every few stitches, gently pull the yarn to tighten the seam. Be careful not to pull too tightly, as it can distort the fabric.
  7. Step 7: Keep stitching until you reach the top edge of the pieces.
  8. Step 8: To secure the seam, weave the yarn through several stitches on the inside of the pieces.
  9. Step 9: Trim any excess yarn and weave in the ends to finish.

Remember to work with good lighting and take your time to ensure neat and even stitches. With practice, you’ll be able to join your knitted pieces flawlessly using the mattress stitch.

If you need visual guidance, there are many tutorials available online that demonstrate the mattress stitch in action. Happy stitching!

Finishing touches and tips

Mastering the art of mattress stitch takes practice, but once you’ve got the basics down, you can use these finishing touches and tips to improve your seams:

  • Use a coordinating yarn color: When seaming your knitting, try to use a yarn color that matches or complements your project. This will help disguise your seams and create a more professional finish.
  • Block your pieces beforehand: Blocking your knitting before seaming can help ensure that all your pieces are the same size and shape, making it easier to line them up and create even seams.
  • Take your time: The key to a neat and invisible seam is to take your time and work slowly. Rushing through the process can lead to uneven tension and sloppy seams.
  • Use a sharp needle: When seaming with mattress stitch, it’s important to use a sharp needle to easily navigate through your stitches. A dull or blunt needle can cause frustration and create messy seams.
  • Start with a small whipstitch: Before you begin the mattress stitch, secure your pieces together with a small whipstitch. This will help keep your seams aligned and prevent any slipping or shifting as you work.
  • Count your stitches: To ensure that your mattress stitch is even on both sides, count your stitches as you go. This can help you keep track of where you need to insert your needle and ensure that your seams are straight.
  • Practice on scrap yarn: If you’re new to mattress stitch, it can be helpful to practice on scrap yarn before attempting it on your actual project. This will give you a chance to get comfortable with the technique and make any necessary adjustments before working on your finished piece.

With these finishing touches and tips, you’ll soon be able to master the art of mattress stitch and create seamless and professional-looking knitwear.

Benefits of using mattress stitch

Mastering the art of mattress stitch in knitting can greatly enhance your finished projects. Here are some of the benefits of using mattress stitch:

  • Invisible Seam: When done correctly, mattress stitch creates an almost invisible seam, giving your knitted fabric a polished and professional look.
  • Neat and Even Edges: By using mattress stitch, you can join the edges of your knitting with precision, resulting in neat and even edges. This is particularly useful when working on garments or accessories where a clean finished edge is important.
  • Flexibility: The mattress stitch allows for flexibility in seam placement. It is not limited to joining just straight edges; it can also be used to sew together pieces that have curves, allowing for more versatility in your knitting projects.
  • Secure Seam: The mattress stitch creates a secure seam that holds your knitting pieces together firmly. This ensures that your finished project will be durable and able to withstand regular use.
  • Ease of Undone Seam: One of the great advantages of mattress stitch is that it can easily be undone if needed. This can be helpful if you make a mistake or need to adjust the seam placement.


What is mattress stitch in knitting?

Mattress stitch is a sewing technique used in knitting to join two pieces of knitted fabric together. It creates an invisible seam that is smooth and seamless.

Why is mattress stitch important in knitting?

Mattress stitch is important in knitting because it allows you to create seamless garments and accessories. It creates a professional finish and makes the finished piece look more polished.

Can mattress stitch be used to join any type of knitting?

Yes, mattress stitch can be used to join any type of knitting, whether it’s stockinette stitch, garter stitch, or ribbing. It is a versatile technique that can be used on any combination of stitches.


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