Learn how to make a bullion knot for your embroidery projects.
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Designer: Sue Spargo


  • Perle cotton No. 5 and No. 3 in assorted colors
  • Milliner's needle No. 1
  • Chenille needle No. 24

Bullion Knot

Stitch around circle appliqué with a ring of bullion knots using perle cotton No. 5. At appliqué circle center, make two bullion knots side by side using perle cotton No. 3 for the flower center. Ring flower center with spiral of bullion knots using perle cotton No. 5 to create flower motif inside appliqué.

To make a bullion knot, complete the following steps.

1.    Thread a No. 1 milliner's needle with an 18" length of perle cotton. (The uniform thickness of this needle type makes it slide more easily through the wrapped threads.) Bring needle up at A, next to edge of appliqué circle (Diagram 1). Insert needle back into fabric at B and bring it up at C, but do not pull needle out of fabric yet.


2.    Wrap perle cotton around needle nine times with the thread end nearest needle tip (Diagram 2).


3.    Pull needle out of fabric, holding wraps in place with your thumbnail, to make a backstitch. Bring wraps toward you so they lay neatly on backstitch. Insert needle back down at D (right by B) and bring it up at E, about 1⁄4" in front of far end of knot (Diagram 3). Continue in same manner to make next bullion knot.