french knot embroidery how-to and inspiration. Blog post at Stitched Stories.

The French Knot is an embroidery stitch that’s created by wrapping floss around your needle one or more times. Once the floss is wrapped, you’ll insert the needle back into the fabric at almost the same spot where it originally came up.

Here’s a diagram and the instructions we include on all of our embroidery kit stitching guides.

embroidery stitch diagram for french knot
  • Bring needle and thread up through fabric at 1.
  • Wrap thread twice around needle (front to back).
  • Hold thread taut and insert needle back very very close to 1.
  • Continue keeping thread taut.
  • Then slide wrapped thread down to fabric and pull needle all the way through to the back.

In this short video, see French knots being stitched in our Galaxy embroidery pattern.

TIPS:

  1. Wrap the thread snuggly around the needle but not super tight. You want the eye of the needle to pass through easily.
  2. Practice on a scrap of fabric to get a sense of the tension you need to keep on the thread as you wrap and go back down through the fabric.
  3. When you put your needle back into the fabric, don’t re-enter in the exact same spot. Move it just a tad to the side.
  4. Take your time and make sure your floss isn’t going to knot up. After stitching several French knots, run the thread through your fingers to remove any twisting. While I don’t alway use floss conditioner/wax, with French knots, it can help.

HOW MANY WRAPS?

In most of our embroidery kits and patterns, two wraps makes the ideal French knot.

When you want more impact, though, you can use three or even four wraps. Increasing the number of strands of floss used will also create a bulkier French Knot.

Here on Garden Party, the sky is filled with fireflies created with French knots. Two strands of floss and two wraps of the floss are recommended.

summer-themed embroidery project with garden party scene

On Grow, the bulky and loose knots near the sunflower center are created by using three strands of floss and four wraps of it around the needle.

closeup of embroidery design with french knots in center of sunflower

MORE FRENCH KNOT INSPIRATION

The snow around the front steps of Winter Cabin is created with clusters of French knots in two colors: a grey-white and very light blue.

closeup of embroidery project with french knots as snow on winter cabin scene

Red French knots provide small but bold accents to the flora on Rolling Hills.

closeup of embroidery project with french knots as berries in scene with fields and rolling hills

Bulky French knots fill the thoraxes and abdomens of several moths on our Moth embroidery kit.

closeup of embroidery project with french knots as spots on moth

Are you ready to embrace the French knot on your embroidery projects now?

Whether it’s used to render a small isolated dot, a cluster or a firefly-filled sky, the French knot is a fabulous stitch to have in your repertoire. Click here to choose a kit packed with classic hand embroidery stitches–like the French knot–today.


Embrace the beauty and charm of the season with one of our summer-themed embroidery projects.

We've got bold colors, trendy motifs and engaging designs all perfect for your summer stitching.