Chain stitch is an ancient sewing and embroidery technique in which a series of looped stitches form a chain-like pattern. Handmade chain stitch embroidery does not require that the needle pass through more than one layer of fabric. For this reason, the stitch is an effective surface embellishment near seams on finished fabric. Chain stitches often form flowing, curved lines and are used in many surface embroidery styles that mimic 'hand drawing' in thread. This technique is especially popular throughout various parts of southern Asia.