Quilting Gallery Blog

Hand Embroidery: How to Work a Perfect French Knot

French Knots

Looking for some tips on how to work a perfect French knot?

A few years ago when I was teaching hand embroidery in workshops, ladies would often groan when I mentioned French knots. Seems that this stitch can cause some frustration.

The good news is that I am going to share with you some of my tips so that you can work the perfect French knot every time.

A French knot is a raised stitch that was traditionally worked with one wrap (by this I mean with one wrap of the thread around the needle).

They have a textural quality and can be used for a number of different effects. Often they are used in conjunction with other embroidery stitches or they can be worked on their own in different color combinations to form wonderful patterns and pictorial designs.

French Knots

French Knots

When working French knots it is important that you select the correct size needle in relation to the number of threads. If you find it difficult to pass your needle down into the fabric ,this indicates that your needle is not large enough. As a general guide a number 9-10 crewel needle is fine to use with 2-3 strands of embroidery thread.

Also keep in mind that a larger knot will look neater worked with more strands of thread rather than more wraps around the needle.

Take a few minutes to watch the video demonstration and then practice this stitch for yourself.

Discover more about how to embroider here.

Until next time.



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This post was published on March 25th, 2010. Post topics: Tips and Tricks, Videos. Post tags: , .

5 Responses to “Hand Embroidery: How to Work a Perfect French Knot”

  1. Mega says:

    Does it matter which way you wrap, meaning from in front of the needle, or from behind the needle? Thanks for the video!

  2. wendy says:

    Thank you!!!! I’ve always wondered how to do this. I just kind of improvised.
    .-= wendy’s latest post: I Do Everything Wrong =-.

  3. Kate says:

    That’s brilliant, I’ve looked at diagrams and instructions for ages and kept failing but your video is so clear I did it first time!

  4. Nalini says:

    Hi, thanks a lot for ur guide. U showed the right way to do french knot. Tried many times n failed, but u made it so simple.. makings lots of french knot now !!

  5. Margaret Roberts says:

    Making the knot is not the problem, I’m having having trouble tying off a single knot off without tying a knot at the back of the work.

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