French knot stitch - embroidery how-to, quick video, and step by step guide

What is the French knot stitch and how do I use it?

The French knot is a decorative hand embroidery stitch that consists of a simple knot formed on top of the fabric. It can be tough to get a consistent knot at first, but the key is to let go of creating the perfect knot and just do your best! This stitch can be used on its own or surrounded with lazy daisy stitches to form a simple embroidery flower. In the Stitching Raccoon Sampler, the French knot stitch is used on its own for the flowers of the Queen Anne's Lace plant.French knot stitch in the Stitching Raccoon Sampler

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French knot stitch diagram

Below is what a typical diagram for the French knot stitch may look like in an embroidery pattern or on other how-to pages.

French knot stitch diagram

See the French knot stitch in action

Follow along with this quick video to see how each step of the French knot stitch comes together.

Step-by-step instructions

Now, let's walk through each step in the French knot stitch together.

Step 1: Bring the needle up within the dot where you want the French knot to be. The trick here is to not come up in the middle of the dot, but off to the side. Try coming up in the lower right corner of the dot.

Image of stitching the French knot stitch

Step 2: Now, holding the floss away from you, point your needle away from your fabric, toward the hand that’s holding the floss. (Pointing the needle away from your fabric is an important step!) From this angle, wrap the floss around the needle twice.

Image of stitching the French knot stitch
Image of stitching the French knot stitch

Step 3: Now, holding the loops onto your needle, turn your needle in and down towards your fabric. Insert the needle on the opposite side of the dot (top left corner).

Image of stitching the French knot stitch
Image of stitching the French knot stitch

Step 4: Once your needle is inserted into the fabric pause to move the loops on your needle down so they are flush with the fabric. Keep the floss taught, but not too tight.

Image of stitching the French knot stitch
Image of stitching the French knot stitch

Step 5: Hold the loops against your fabric as you pull your needle through. Keep pulling until all of your floss has gone through. You have now created your French knot!

Image of stitching the French knot stitch
Image of stitching the French knot stitch

Save it for later

Want to remember how to do the French knot? Pin the image below to Pinterest as a quick reference for later!

French knot stitch diagram for Pinterest

Give it a try, you can do it!

Now it's your turn to grab a needle, some embroidery floss, and give it a go! Practice the French knot stitch, along with other basic embroidery stitches, in the Stitching Raccoon Sampler. Get the embroidery pattern for FREE by signing up below!

Image of finished Stitching Raccoon Sampler

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