Satin Column

You define a satin column using a shape made of two mostly-parallel lines. Ink/Stitch will draw zig-zags back and forth between the two lines. You can vary the thickness of the column as you like.

Stitch Types - Satin Column

  • Combine two strokes with Path > Combine or hit Ctrl+K.
  • Check path directions. For the satin column to work, they have to be equal.
    If they are not, with the Node Editor Tool (N) select one point of one sub-path and run Path > Reverse. This will reverse only the selected sub-path.
  • Use node or rung method as described below.
  • Then select your satin column and run params through Extensions > Embroidery > Params or a custom shortcut key.

Node Method

Satin Column Boat

Depending on the complexity of your design, this method might be time consuming, because the two paths must have the same number of points. This means that each path will be made up of an equal number of Bezier curves. Each pair of points acts as a “checkpoint”: Ink/Stitch will ensure that a “zag” ends up going from one point to the other.

Rung Method

The rung method will give you more control over the way the satin column is rendered. Good positioning of points on each of the two lines helps getting the stitch directions right. However, there are situations where you need to add direction lines (“rungs”) for satin columns:

  • Some tricky corner areas
  • Complicated drawings where moving points is both difficult and time consuming
  • Special situations where you want the stitch directions to be weird

Quick adding of rungs

  • Make sure the existing satin column path (with the two subpaths) is selected with the Node Editor tool.
  • Press P or select the Pencil Tool.
  • Hold Shift.
  • Click once at the start of the rung.
  • Click a second time at the end of the rung.

Rungs in Action

Original design by Liv Iko edited by EDUTECH Wiki

Info: Rungs have to be shorter than the satin column itself. Otherwise Ink/Stitch will switch directions or you receive the following message: error: satin column: One or more of the rungs doesn't intersect both rails. Each rail should intersect both rungs once.


Params Satin Column.jpg

Settings Description
Custom satin column Must be enabled for these settings to take effect.
Pull compensation Satin stitches pull the fabric together, resulting in a column narrower than you draw in Inkscape. This setting expands each pair of needle penetrations outward from the center of the satin column. You’ll have to determine experimentally how much compensation you need for your combination of fabric, thread, and stabilizer.
Zig-Zag spacing the peak-to-peak distance between zig-zags
STOP after, TRIM after STOP after, TRIM after

Info: Ink/Stitch considers each pair of Bezier curves, one at a time. It picks the longest of the two and determines how many zig-zags will be necessary to satisfy the zig-zag spacing setting. This makes it so that the outside of a curve will never have sparse stitching like with simple satin.
However, this does mean that the inside of a curve will have a higher stitch density than you specified. Be careful how you design sharp curves, because stitching at too high a density may poke a hole in the fabric!


Satin Column also supports three kinds of underlay, of which you can use any or all simultaneously. Read this excellent article on satin column design.

Center Walk Underlay

This is a row of running stitch down the center of the column and back. This may be all you need for thin satin columns. You can also use it as a base for more elaborate underlay.

Contour Underlay

This is a row of running stitch up one side of the column and back down the other. The rows are set in from the edge of the column by an amount you specify. For small or medium width satin, this may serve well enough by itself.

ZigZag Underlay

This is essentially a lower-density satin stitch sewn to the end of the column and back to the start. Added with contour underlay, you get the “German Underlay” mentioned in the article linked above. For wide columns or challenging fabrics, you can use all three underlay types together.

Sample Files Including Satin Column


Applique example file

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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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Monogram Frame

Monogram Frame Example

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Puff example file

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