The Holbein Stitch is very old and is used for Assisi work and blackwork. It is a simple reversible line stitch well suited for outlines and linear details such as letters, numbers and vines. It tends to produce a much smoother line than the back stitch.
The Holbein stitch is known by various names including the double running stitch, true stitch, Spanish stitch, writing stitch, line stitch, Chiara stitch, and two-sided line stitch.
The Holbein stitch is worked with two journeys of running stitches in which the thread tension is kept even. The first journey (1 to 6) is indicated by the dark red stitches below, and the return stitches (7 to 10) are light red.