Peking Knot

Also known as: Chinese Knot, Forbidden Stitch, Blind Knot

This type of knot is particular to the rich Chinese silk embroidery where patterns were filled with rows of such fine knots. Due to the eye strain and blindness that working on such knots caused, it came to be called blind knot. Interestingly, the name ‘forbidden stitch’ took shape either because this stitch became forbidden due to the ‘blindness’ it caused or because of the knots’ association to China’s Forbidden City, the home to the Emperor.

This stitch can be done in two variations. The first one is where the knot is left loose to look like a ring. These were used in close succession to fill motifs. The second variation is where a tight knot is made. It looks like the french knot, but flatter, since we wrap the thread around the needle only once instead of twice as in the french knot. In fact, there is a slight difference in the way the knot is made too, which will be shown in the tutorial below. These knots are also used to fill in motifs and can be pretty tasking to the eyes. But the effect it leaves, especially when shadings occur, is splendid.

I will work on both variations. The first four steps of both variations are the same and differ only towards the end.

Variation 1: the ring
Fig 1: Bring the needle out through A. Leave the thread towards the left side as shown. Fig 2: Now, using your left index finger, wrap the thread around and twist it to make a loop and place it above the point A, as shown.
Fig 3: Keeping the loop as it is, put in the needle at a point inside the loop, as close as possible to A, but not A. You may use your left hand thumb to hold the loop down when you do this.
Do not pull out the needle yet.
Fig 4: Now, pull the loose end of the thread to tighten the loop to a desired size.
Fig 5: Now, pull down the needle completely. You will get ring sitting on a knot as shown in this picture.
Variation 2: the knot
Fig 6:Keep pulling the loose end of the thread till it holds tight around the needle. Fig 7: Now pull down the needle completely to get a knot like this.
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19 Responses

  1. mahima India Google Chrome Windows says:

    hi sarah,
    thank you so much for making such an helpful website.
    through this site i learned different types of embroidery stitches without the help of any iam making my own designs.
    thank you so much dear

  2. Mary McCarron United Kingdom Google Chrome Windows says:

    Dear Sarah,

    I am an experienced embroiderer who has the habit of using the same few stitches in my work. Thank you for encouraging me to use more new ones. You have obviously put a lot of time and effort into this easy to follow site. I am sure many embroiderers, both beginners and experienced, are most appreciative of your generosity in sharing this.

    Kind regards,


  3. Dr Carla Seleme United States Safari iPhone says:

    Dear Sarah, Thank you for taking the effort and care that you invested in creating this wonderful sampler tutorial. I have been searching for such an item. It is well presented and the instructions are facile for any level of handcrafter. I will try to find you on other media sites such as youtube, etc… I consider my self a moderate beginner (I am on my 5th piece) and look forward to using every single one of these stitches in some fadhion over the next year. Sincerely, Dr Carla

    • sarah India Google Chrome Windows says:

      Hi Carla,
      Thank you for dropping a comment. It has been long since I have posted anything, but I have to get hooked back on. So, there are many more stitch tutorials coming up. Hope you enjoy them. If you like, you might also share some of your works on our website for others to see. 🙂

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