The Perfect French Knot

The good old French knot is sometimes the bain of newcomers to hand embroidery but it is I assure you really easy to do. I know when I started embroidery I kept pulling the knot through and got really frustrated that I even cheated and used a bead! Which is not a bad idea if you just haven't got the patience! Once you master the French knot though you can use it for flower centre's, as a single dot or eye, as a textured filling stitch and for shading designs. French knot's can be used scattered, packed or evenly spaced. However you work it French knot's are great and get my thumbs up! Have a go at mark making with French knot's today, try variegated threads, thick and thin threads and wooly threads to create different textures.

Here's how to work a French knot!

Bring your needle up a 1. Holding the thread taut between your finger and thumb of your left hand, wind the thread around the tip of the needle twice. Still holding the thread taut insert the needle close to 1. Pull the needle through to the back of the fabric so that the twists form a knot on the surface of the fabric. Don't pull the thread through the fabric too hard or the knot may follow! Why not try out the mark making exercises in the last photo!

I am having a problem replying back to comments on the blog at the moment so I would like to say thanks for all your comments about my tutorials. It is great to hear that the photos are clear and that the explanations can be easily followed! I think some embroidery how to books just don't show enough steps or are not close enough, so I am glad that I can help especially if you are beginning embroidery or just getting back into it again!

Thanks Sarah xx


  1. Your technique for the French Knot is really different from others I have found, which I have not been able to really execute well. The way the thread is postioned make it difficult with just one hand, however, yours look really simple and I will try it.
    Thank you for the wonderful tuts you have made available to us.


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