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How to Make a French Knot

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How to Make a French Knot
How to Make a French Knot

Working a French Knot

© Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

The French knot is one of several knotted stitches used in surface embroidery, and produces a knot similar to a Colonial knot. This stitch has a reputation for being one of the most-feared, but is actually very simple to work once you get the hang of it.

French knots can be worked individually, in loose or dense groups as a filling, or along a line or path. A variation of the stitch is French knot with tail, shown on the next page.

Here I show you a diagram for making a French knot, but an excellent tutorial can be viewed here if needed.

To make a French knot, bring your needle up through the fabric where you want the knot to place the knot.

Wrap the thread around the fabric once for a small knot, or twice for a larger knot. Do no wrap more than twice or you will end up with a lopsided knot.

The tension of the thread around the fabric should not be too loose. It should also not be too tight. The wrapped thread needs to be snug against the needle, but the needle should be able to slide through the threaded loops smoothly, without being forced.

To finish the knot, insert the needle back into the fabric close to the hole you had come out of (almost in the same hole). Pull the thread through the wrapped loops and you will have made a French knot.

Inserting the needle into the existing hole often results in the knot being lost to the back side of the fabric when the thread is pulled though. Placing the needle close to the original hole - even if it's just a single split fiber away, gives the stitch a bridge of fabric to stand on.

Practice makes perfect with this stitich. If you have not yet worked with them, I recommend making several sample knots on a scrap of embroidery fabric. Once you have discovered the perfect tension when wrapping, the stitch is a piece of cake!

Please Note: Photographs, patterns and illustrations contained in this article are by Cheryl Fall, are copyrighted © by Cheryl Fall, and are licensed to About.com, Inc.

Do not redistribute these photographs or illustrations in any form.

This pattern is free for your own personal use only and is not to be used for items for resale.

If others would like to have the pattern, please give them the URL of this page, so that they may come to these pages and print the pattern or instructions for themselves. Thank you for respecting my copyright.

For additional information, see Copyright Myths Explained, or the U.S. Government Copyright Office at http://www.loc.gov/copyright.

This pattern is free for your own personal use only and is not to be used for items for resale.

If others would like to have the pattern, please give them the URL of this page, so that they may come to these pages and print the pattern or instructions for themselves. Thank you for respecting my copyright.

For additional information, see Copyright Myths Explained, or the U.S. Government Copyright Office at http://www.loc.gov/copyright.

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