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9 important Knot Stitches in Embroidery

Knot stitches are special embroidery stitches formed by wrapping the thread around itself in different ways. The ones described here are mostly detached stitches (stand alone) but there are also continuous knotted stitches like the Turkey stitch. They are used as filler stitches and give a three dimensional look to the embroidery work with their raised and textured appearance.

One main thing to remember is to use an embroidery hoop when doing these stitches. These stitches are best done with a needle with a small eye.

French Knot

French knots are best done inside an outline stitch to give it definition. The 3 dimensional look this stitch gives to your design is delightful and hence a favourite of all who do embroidery.

How to make a french Knot

Step 1
Bring the needle from the back of the fabric at point A. Keep the thread tightly in your left hand.
Step 2
Keep the needle near the fabric and wrap the thread around the needle once or twice.

Step 3
Gently pull the thread so that the wrapped thread is tightening against the needle
Step 4.
Insert the needle near the point where needle came out at B. Hold on to the thread wraps with your left hand and pull the needle to the back. A knot is left behind which looks absolutely beautiful.

Checkout the post on French knot for more details and to know its many uses in embroidery

Bullion Knot ( Bullion Stitch or Bullion bar )

This is a beautiful stitch which can be used to fill outlines as well as to make flower designs. A perfect rose flower can be made with this stitch alone by slightly curving the stitching and arranging it in a round shape. To make it look better use variegated yarn ( shaded yarn). Leaves made using this stitch also looks good

Checkout the post on Bullion stitches & 3 easy to do bullion stitch embroidery designs.

How to do a Bullion Knot Stitch.

Step 1.
Bring the needle to the front of the fabric from the back. Use a long needle used for general stitching ( not embroidery needle which has a large eye)
Again Insert the needle into the fabric at A very near to where the needle came out and come out a small distance from there at B. Keep the needle in that position without taking out.

Step 2.
Wrap the thread from behind the needle around the tip of the needle a number of times
Ensure that you are wrapping neatly and compactly.
Make enough wraps which approximately equals the distance between A-B

Step 3.
Using your finger keep the wraps in place . Now gently take out (ease out) the needle (the thread wrap should stay there) from the wrap.

Step 4.
Flip the thread wrap to the other side (A) where you started.
Step 5
Insert needle to a point very close to A to the back of the fabric. Secure thread there.
Step 6
Make sure that the stitch is to your liking. Or else use your fingers to arrange the coils to perfection.

Pistil Stitch or Long tailed French Knots

Check out the the post on Pistil stitch

Four legged knot stitch

This stitch resembles a cross with a knot in its center.
Step 1
Make a straight stitch down and then go to point c half distance of the cross from the center, all in one go

Step 2
Hold the thread with your left hand somewhat tightly
Step 3

Bring the needle under the threads from right side top diagonally as in the picture. Bring up the needle making a knot . Hold the loop gently but firmly with your left hand and pull the needle with your right hand.

If you do not continue holding the thread from the left side while tightening the loop it will be very loose and spoil the look of the stitch. You need the knot in the center of the stitch.
Step 4
Now complete the cross by going to the other side half way of the straight stitch at D and insert the needle to the back.

Ghiordes knot (Turkey stitch)

This is a stitch resembling the carpet pile. Loops are made in a continuous manner mostly in multiple rows

Colonial knot (Figure 8 knot)

Keep the thread in the shape of a loop near the fabric.
Keep the tip of the needle inside the loop.
Now twist the thread and wrap the needle once more . Pull the thread towards the left to tighten the ball formed

Carefully insert the needle with the twist on it, to a little to the side just like you do for the french knot
The knot which is formed is a attractive as the french knot.

Gordian Knot (Braid stitch)

Danish Knot

Step 1
Bring needle and thread to the front of the fabric through Point A. A little in front, take in and bring out needle through point B and C

Step 3

From C bring the needle under A-B to the left ( making a triangular shape)
Step 4

Again bring the needle to the right and bring the needle under A-B once more.
A danish knot is formed

This is mostly used as a filler stitch

Turk’s head knot

This is a knot made with yarn , cord or string and can be stitched on to your work for an interesting 3 dimensional element. Checkout the tutorial to make a Turk’s head knot

You may also want to know how to make similar knots – they are very useful in sewing and other crafts. Check out the post "10 basic knots " for more details like how to make them easily

AUTHOR : Hi, I am Sarina. I am passionate about clothes, sewing, fabrics, fashion and surface design techniques in no particular order and absolutely love writing about all of these including what I learn, what I experience, and what I have bought to do all these. You are more than welcome to stay here and learn with me.