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Helpful Hint
How to make a perfect French Knot

It takes two hands to make consistently good French knots, and the fabric or canvas must be held firmly in a hoop or on stretcher bars.
  • Bring the thread to the surface and put the hoop or stretchers down on a table or on your lap.
  • Hold the threaded needle in your right (left) hand and hold the thread with your left (right) hand about three inches above the fabric.
  • Tap the needle against the taut thread below your left (right) hand.  Move your left (right) hand first in a forward motion, and wrap the thread completely around the needle once -- only once and never more!  If you want a larger knot, use a thicker thread (more strands of floss), but never twist/wrap more than once.
  • Poke the needle into the fabric very near and just above the hole you came up in.  If working on canvas, go over one intersection as if doing a tent stitch.  Do not draw it through the fabric yet.
  • Pull the thread until the twist around the needle is right down next to the fabric.
  • Hold the thread with your left (right) hand as you........
  • Pick up your hoop or stretcher bars and while holding the thread firmly as close to the needle as possible, draw the needle through the fabric and do not let go of the thread until absolutely the last moment.
  • To repeat: Tap, wrap, poke, pull, hold, draw -- these six steps will make a perfect knot every time.

For more assistance with this stitching technique:

E-mail to:

or call us at 860-257-2718 (ask for Judie).

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© 1988, 2006 Judie Solomon
Thistle Needleworks - Wethersfield CT
Revised - October 29, 2015