A stitcher training to help you be a more Curious Stitcher.

There are two main methods you can use when stitching in the cross stitch world. 

  1. Dutch Method
  2. English Method

Today we will learn the difference, and what that means on your fabric. 

English Method

This method is the “real” way to cross stitch – if you google or look at instructions in a kit, you will see it explain this method. 

This is literally a CROSS stitch.

You will complete each X individually, before moving on to the next. 

Dutch Method

This method is often referred to as railroading as well. 

You will complete the bottom leg of each X, and then go backwards and do the top legs of the row you completed. 


Here is a visual!

What Difference Does it Make?

I will show you both the front and back of a stitch – using each method. 

Here’s a few differences:

  • Looks very neat using Dutch method when color blocking (doing large areas of one color).
  • Confetti stitching will have a neater back using English method. 
  • Floss usage is optimized with Dutch method – when colors are close together (or color blocking). 

Below are two comparisons – both the front and back of both methods with color blocking. 

This may look like the floss usage is the same, but the dutch method has one extra row – from the same amount of floss

Dutch makes for a neat back when you color block. If it is confetti style you will not see the neatness difference. 

Stitchee Preferred Method:

Here are some thoughts from some of our Stitchee’s

(If you would like to add yours, send me an email and I’ll post it!)

Dutch Method! It’s just become a habit now. 

Amy Belitski

English Method! I could never get in the swing of the Dutch Method.

Dawn Szabo-O'Neil

Dutch method! I always find it easier if I lose count to find where I am again. 

Jessica Van Dasselaar

English Method! It is easier to pick up where you left off – especially if you are lacking concentration. 

Michelle Langevin


  1. I tend to use whichever one I feel like doing at the time. Normally I use the English method but doing large blocks of colors I use the Dutch method.

    • I agree but I would like to know how to achieve the neat backs.

  2. I use both methods. Depends on the area i’m working in.

  3. usually dutch for large color block areas……englishh for small/confetti areas

  4. I currently use English, as it’s what I am more comfortable with but will be trying Dutch when I have a pattern with large blocks of the same color. It may make it quicker.

  5. Usually Dutch method, unless I’m in a confetti heavy area than I use the English method.

  6. I use both but dutch is prefered. I don’t care what the back looks like because no one sees that part except me when I’m working on it!

  7. If I am doing a large piece of one colour I do the Dutch method if not the English method.

  8. I do both methods; depending on the thread being used!

  9. I was taught the Dutch method. Most kits and books that I have bought use this method. I use the “English method” when using over-dyed flosses.

  10. I use the Dutch method. It was the way I was taught. I even use it with over-dyed floss because I like the different appearance it gives.

  11. I swap depending on the pattern.

  12. I jump between the English and Dutch methods. It all depends what works in the moment to save the most thread. I don’t like to travel in the back a whole lot.

  13. It comes down to how much is needing done in the same color. If there are a lot of breaks in a line I find I gravitate towards the English method but longer lines or larger blocks I tend to do Danish

    • Dutch not danish. Autocorrect strikes again

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