A stitch made by setting the needle back of the end of the last stitch,
and bringing it out in front of the end. Backstitch is a continuous
chain of overlapping stitches that outlines an embroidered design. The
backstitch appears frequently in black work embroidery, a centuries-old
form of elegant needlework featuring geometric designs made with black
silk thread on white or ivory linen. Backstitching should be done after
design is completed.
The basic stitch is worked from right to left keeping distance between
stitch beginnings equal and consistent. Backstitch is usually used to
outline items in a piece of needlework, although it can be recommended
for things like stems of flowers, etc. It's called backstitch because
one literally makes small, straight stitches backwards from what one
would normally do.