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 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 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 both variations. The first four steps of both variations is the same and differs only towards the end.

Variation 1: with the ring

chinese_knot_1 chinese_knot_2
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.
chinese_knot_3   chinese_knot_4
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.
chinese_knot_5       Fig 5: Now, pull down the needle completely. You will get ring sitting on a knot as shown in this picture.


Variation 2: the tight knot

Follow the first four steps above.

chinese_knot_6      chinese_knot_7
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.