French Knot Tutorial

lamb embroidery made with french knots

French Knots are as Cute as a Little Lamb

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I'm a big fan of the french knot and you might find yourself really getting into a zone when making a bunch of them. They can be used as filler or accents, and they're awesome for adding texture (like wool) to your embroidery work. Use them for things like floral elements, decorative elements, hair, wool, and anything else you can imagine.

There is a tiny bit of hand coordination involved with the french knot and your left and right hands will have to team up for a moment to ensure your knot looks beautiful. Once you get the hang of it (and it won't take long) it'll become like second nature!

It requires wrapping thread around your needle and the number of wraps can vary depending on how small or large you want it to be. How tightly you pull on your thread can also affect the size of your knot. These are a few things to keep in mind.

Step-by-Step French Knot Tutorial

For this basic embroidery tutorial I’m using 6 strands of thread in red.

  • Bring your thread through to the top of your fabric.
  • Next, hold your needle in front of you and wrap your thread over and around your needle twice.

thread wrapped around needle to make a basic embroidery stitch, the french knot

Carefully push your needle halfway through the same hole you came up from (or as close as possible) and gently pull your thread until the wraps hug your needle.

needle pushed halfway into fabric with thread wrapped around it

Hold your thread down gently against your fabric and carefully pull your thread through to the back until if forms a knot. Practice varying up the number of threads and wraps to get a sense of how it will affect the size of your french knot.

That’s all there is to it.

 red french knot


  • The tighter you pull your thread through to make your knots the smaller it will be compared to a knot pulled gently with the same number of threads.
  • If you're making a series of french knots which will be place away from each other keep in mind that thread can sometimes show through in the front of your fabric so keep that in mind.
  • One more thing... if you decide you'd like to stitch using metallic threads, it's a bit tricky so definitely practice using regular thread first. Just take it slow.

I hope the tips come in handy!

Don't forget to take a peek at other stitch tutorials! If you're a beginner you may want to start with the 5 basic embroidery stitches post.

French Knot Video Tutorial

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