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Coral stitch icon
Coral stitch

  • Knotted stitch
  • German knot stitch
  • Beaded stitch
  • Snail trail
  • Scroll stitch
  • Running knot
  • Single coral
Coral stitch main image

​Coral stitch is a line stitch interspersed with evenly spaced knots.  It has similarities with scroll stitch although the line between the knots is straight, rather than curved.

Coral stitch has an ancient provenance as it is credited with being one of the stitches used by ancient Egyptian stitchers.  More recently, it features on the earliest known English sampler, dated 1598, a late 16th century English headdress and was a popular stitch in 17th and 18th century English crewelwork.

It became an integral part of German Schwalm Whitework (Schwälmer Weißstickerei) in the late 18th century and early 19th century.  It is also used in Sardinian knotted embroidery (Punt ‘e Nù), a form of counted thread whitework from Teulada, Sardinia.

For an Elizabethan variation on Pekinese stitch which uses coral stitch as its basis, see Elizabethan double looped edging.

Coral stitch is generously sponsored by Fiona Bonthrone



Bring your needle to the surface and lay your thread along the design line in the direction of travel.


Hold on to the thread and take the needle down through the fabric on one side of the laid thread.


Draw the thread through partway to create a loop, then bring the needle back to the surface on the other side of the laid thread and up through the loop.


Hold on to the needle in the fabric and draw the thread through from the underside, pulling the loop tight against the needle.


Bring the needle up to the surface to repeat. Continue along the line, producing knots at equal intervals.

Coral stitch

Structure of stitch

Common uses

It is commonly used for outlines and tendrils in floral designs.

Identifying Coral stitch

This stitch is similar to scroll stitch as they are both simple line stitches interspersed with small knots.  The most notable distinction is that the thread between the knots in coral stitch forms a straight line, rather than a curve.