How to do a French Knot

comments (1) August 2nd, 2008     

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JenniferStern Jennifer Stern, contributor
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The French Knot is a classic embroiderers stitch
Here is what yor needle and thread should look like at the start position.
The thread wraps around the needle.
The French Knot is a classic embroiderers stitch

The French Knot is a classic embroiderer's stitch

Photo: Len Hasemann

I have been working on a hand embroidered purse using basic knot and dot stitches, like the French Knot, Bullion Knot and the Knotted Straight Stitch. Many of the knot stitches used in hand embroidery are created by wrapping the yarn around the needle; the only difference between them is where and when the needle comes out and goes back into the fabric.

Two good examples are the French Knot and the Bullion Knot; these two stitches are created by wrapping the yarn around the needle. When I first started making French Knots, somebody showed me how to do it. They started by taking a stitch on the top of the fabric after the needle had already been brought up to the right side of the fabric.

After researching this, I think the correct way to make a French Knot is to wrap the yarn around the needle and then bring the needle down through the fabric, without an extra stitch. I was very pleased to see that doing it this way forms a prefect round knot:quickly and easily! Here is a step-by-step for you to follow:

The French Knot
Bring thread up through fabric.


Here is what yor needle and thread should look like at the start position.

Wrap yarn around needle twice, so that it’s firmly around the needle, but not too tightly.


The thread wraps around the needle.

Insert needle back into the fabric about a few millimeters away from where it came out.


To make the knot, insert your needle back into the fabric.

Scoot yarn toward the back of the needle as you push needle through fabric. Gently pull yarn through fabric as well.


Pull the yarn gently through the fabric and viola! The French Knot!

Finish pulling yarn through fabric to form a knot. Don’t pull too hard or you will end up with a very tiny and way too tight knot.

posted in: embroidery, french knot

Comments (1)

normasews writes: The best way to make the most consistent French knots is to only wrap the thread or yarn around the needle once! If you would like a bigger knot, use two strands of yarn.
Posted: 2:13 pm on January 20th
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