How To Sew A French Knot

If you’re serious about cross stitch, you’ll need to know how to sew a French knot. To help you master this skill, here’s some helpful advice from Jane Greenoff’s book, The New Cross Stitcher’s Bible

French knots are small but important little stitches, often used for eyes and other details. They are usually shown as coloured circles on cross stitch charts, with the colour and code given in the chart key. Common problems with French knots are that they can disappear to the back of the work or end up as a row of knots on the thread in the needle! To learn how to sew a French knot, follow Jane Greenoff’s instructions below:

How to sew a French knot

How to sew a French knot1. Bring the needle through to the front of the fabric and wind the thread around the needle twice.

2. Begin to ‘post’ the needle partly through to the back, one thread or part of a block away from the entry point (to stop the stitch being pulled to the wrong side).

3. Now gently pull the thread you’ve wound, so it sits snugly at the point where the needle enters the fabric. Pull the needle through to the back to have a perfect knot in position.

  • For bigger French knots, add more thread to the needle as this gives better results than winding more times around the needle.
  •  Gold-plated needles are great for creating lots of French knots, as they slip through the fabric perfectly.
  • Try using clusters of French knots to add dimension, or experiment by working with strands of different coloured thread in your needle at the same time.Thistle cross stitch

To practise your French knots, have a go at something like this Thistle Cross Stitch design. For more tips and instructions for working other types of stitch, get your copy of The New Cross Stitcher’s Bible today.

Happy Stitching!

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Cross Stitch, Cross Stitch Techniques, Embroidery, Embroidery techniques