How to do French Knots

French knots add exquisite detail to your embroidery projects. Find out how to sew them with our beginner's guide...

How to do French Knots

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Use French knots individually for tiny details or in groups for a different look. Persevere if you find them tricky to start with – we promise it’s worth the practise to master this beautiful embroidery stitch. A good tip is to pull through gently at the final stage.

French knots are so adaptable, you can use them to add decorative features to almost anything. So if you want to put your new stitching skills into practice, we suggest trying something simple updating a plain scarf into a pretty summer scarf – find out how at the bottom of this post.

To practise this much-loved embroidery stitch, read on for our video guide to how to do French Knots, plus step-by-step walkthrough, then try out your new skills and download our free Make a Wish Embroidery Pattern to embroider your own hoop art, or scroll to the end of this post for our easy scarf embellishment project idea!

How to do French Knots

Template design by LouiseDay, stitching & instructions by Zoe Patching

How to do French Knots


Step 1

Thread a sharp embroidery needle with a knotted thread. Hold the needle with one hand, and wrap the thread once around the needle.

How to embroider French Knots step 1

Step 2

Take the needle partially down through the fabric, next to your starting point. Keep the thread taut as you slide the knot down the needle to rest on the surface of the fabric.

How to do french knots step 2

Step 3

Pull the needle through the fabric completely to create a loop. As the loop tightens, it will complete your first French knot.

How to do French Knots step 3

Step 4

When working clusters of French knots, work a central knot first and then work a series of other knots around it. Keep the French knots close together, to create a tight cluster.

How to embroider French Knots step 4

Stitch French knots on sheer fabric to make a summer scarf…

Refashion a plain scarf with a scattering of French Knots for a pretty way to put this stitch into practise! The white and neon green combination in our example below is a current favourite of ours. The great thing is you can stitch one to match any outfit! Be patient, though, French knots can take time to master… but once you master the magic you’ll never look back. Download our free Embroidery Templates  and choose a lightweight scarf to begin. We backed our scarf with similar light fabric, to protect the embroidery.

How to embroider a scarf