6 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.

Table of Contents

    French Knot

     french knots

    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 )bullion knot stitch

    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.

    bullion stitch

    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.

    how to make a bullion stitch
    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.

    how to stitch bullion bar stitch
    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

    pistil stitch

    Check out the the post on Pistil stitch

    Four legged knot stitch

    four knot

    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

    four legged knot stitch
    Step 2
    Hold the thread with your left hand somewhat tightly
    Step 3
    knot stitches

    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.

    knot stitches

    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.

    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

    knot stitches
    Step 3

    From C bring the needle under A-B to the left ( making a triangular shape)danish-1-compressor
    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

    Related posts

    danish-knots-compressor  outline stitch