Make a Bullion Knot stitch { & 3 easy bullion embroidery designs}

bullion knot

Bullion knots are one of the most versatile stitches in the whole Hand embroidery stitches repertoire. They are used in almost all types of embroidery technique – be it cutwork, brazilian embroidery, lace work, wool to wool embroidery. It is a staple decoration on smocking. You can see bullion roses on all the kids’ finely made dresses. In all your embroidery work there are always places where you can use a bullion knot – as leaves, as buds, making petals for embroidered flowers, as grass,eyes for babies, as the handle of a cup and many more.

Checkout the other knot stitches ( about 8 of them) here.

Which needle is used to make bullion knots ?

You need a long needle with a small eye. Many experts swear by the milliner needle which fits this description. Milliner needle has a very small eye which makes it very easy for the knot to slip out of it easily. But any needle with a relatively small eye ( not much wider than the diameter of the needle) would do. 

There are people who make 100s of coils on these needles – for those long long bullion knots you need a long needle – you will progress to that soon.

How many strands of thread should I use for making bullion knot ?

There is no guideline as such. But 3 strands is ideal for me for small flowers. You can thread 6 strands for thicker bullions.

How to make a Bullion Knot Stitch ?

Step 1

You need to thread three strands of thread on the needle . Knot the thread at the end . Come up from the back of the  fabric to the face of the fabric ( A in the picture)

how to sew a bullion knot stitch

Step 2

Put your needle down at B a small distance from A ( this depends on the length of bullion knot you want) and comeback up again at C (about  one thread near A).

bullion embroidery

You will now be near the  thread ( near A where you first came up). Do not pull the needle through, leave it in the fabric as shown.

 

Step 3

Wind the thread around the needle many times. You should guesstimate how much would fill the area between A & B

bullion knot stitch embroidery

Step 4

Gently bring up the  needle through the coils.

bullion stitch

Pull the needle up and then bring down the coils gently with your hand  till the bullion is correctly formed in the end

bullion stitch

Put down the needle at B to secure the bullion knot. At all times make sure that the coils are even. If not use your fingers to smooth them and stack them properly on the thread so that they all fall neatly.

Sometimes it may seem as if you have made a mess. But the magic of bullion knots is that, however messy it may seem , it is salvagable to a beautiful bullion knot with the stroke of your hands and gentle pulls. 

3 Easy Bullion stitch embroidery designs

Drawing and working on designs which uses bullion stitches are very easy. You just need to  draw a general outline and the stitch will fill it nicely with its own contours, twists and turns and the three dimentional effect. I have here 3 simple easy to make designs which are made this way

 1 Bullion stitch rose embroidery design.

bullion embroidery

Make the middle of the flower with french knots or two bullions in a light colour. 

bullion embroidery

Start making small bullion knots around the center in a light colour (darker than the middle); overlapping the previous one slightly.

bullion embroidery

After two or three layers , change the colour to a darker shade

bullion embroidery

Make small leaves on either side with granitos stitch. 

bullion embroidery

  2 Bullion Stitch 8 petal Flower

Again the outline is drawn

bullion stitch embroidery

Center of the design is filled with 10-12 french knots

bullion stitch embroidery designs

Make Bullion Knot coils resembling the petals all around the center, two of them touching  at the tip

bullion stitch embroidery designs

bullion knot stitch embroidery designs

You can fill the leaf with satin stitch. With satin stitch unless you are very very careful the edges need to be sorted out. An outline of back stitch or split stitch would do very well.

bullion knot stitch embroidery designs

bullion knot stitch designs

  3 Bullion Knot Wild flowers 

bullion knot stitch embroidery designs

Make three bullion knots in white on the top of the flower drawing 

bullion stitch embroidery wildflowers

Sorround them with more knots in a different colour. Two or more layers

bullion stitch embroidery from wildflowers

And then more

bullion stitch embroidery wildflowers

Fill the leaves with blanket stitches 

bullion stitch embroidery

bullion knot stitch embroidery

bullion stitch design

Bullion knots are also known as coil stitch, caterpillar stitch for very obvious reasons. The best thing about the very versatile bullion knot stitch is that it is a very easy stitch to make,  though it looks anything like that to a beginner. Take heart and practise

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