Fill Stitch

What it is

Fill Stitch Bear Fill stitch is used to fill big areas with a color.

Fill stitch detail

How to Create

Ink/Stitch offers two methods to create fill stitches: Auto-Fill and Manual Fill. For most purposes Auto-Fill will be your prefered method.


AutoFill is the default method for generating fill stitching. To use it, create a closed path with a fill color. This algorithm works for complex shapes with or without holes.

Info: Ink/Stitch will break the shape up into sections that it can embroider at once using back-and-forth rows of stitches. It then adds straight-stitching between sections until it’s filled in the entire design. The staggered pattern of stitches is continued seamlessly between sections, so the end result doesn’t appear to have any breaks. When moving from one section to the next, it generates running stitching along the border of the shape.

Set Start and End Point

Since Ink/Stitch v1.11.0 it is possible to set start and end points for autofill objects. You will need to install Ink/Stitch visual commands for this purpose.


Run Extensions > Ink/Stitch > English > Params to tweak the settings to your needs.

Read detailed information in the Fill Params section.


By default, AutoFill will cover the shape with one layer of stitches. In almost all cases, this won’t look any good. The individual stitches will sink into the fabric (even if it’s thin) and the fill will appear sparse. The fabric may even stick up between rows.

To solve this, you need underlay: an initial layer of stitches that hold up the final stitches. Underlay for fill stitch usually comprises of fill stitching 90 degrees offset from the final fill (called “top stitching”). The row spacing should be much wider than in the top stitching. The goal is to flatten out the fabric and give the top stitches “rails” to sit on.

In Params, you’ll see an underlay tab next to the AutoFill tab. Enable it by checking the box.

Samples Files Including Fill Stitches


Applique example file

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Color Blending

Color Blending Methods

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Free Standing Lace - Butterfly

Free Standing Lace - Butterfly

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Fringe example file

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Ink/Stitch Logo & Branding Guide

Ink/Stitch logo as SVG file, digitized version and branding guide.

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Manual Fill is the old mode before automatic fill routing was implemented. In some cases, AutoFill may not be an option, such as when the running stitches between sections are not acceptable for your design. Usually, fill region edges are covered over by satin, but not always.

In manual fill, the extension will still break up the shape into sections, each of which can be embroidered in one go. Then these sections will be fill-stitched one at a time, jumping directly between sections.

You’ll almost certainly want to break your shape up into smaller shapes and connect them using running stitches. It’s a painstaking process, made more so because you’ll need to do it twice: once for the underlay and again for the top stitching.

Run Extensions > Ink/Stitch > English > Params to alter stitch details. Read more