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Knotted chain stitch icon
Knotted chain stitch

  • Link stitch
Knotted chain stitch main image

This surface stitch is formed by loops of thread anchored by slanted stitches and small knots.  It forms small linked circles and is more intricate than most of the other versions of chain stitch.

The earliest citation of this stitch is in Mrs Christie’s 1921 book, Samplers and stitches.

Knotted chain stitch is generously sponsored by Helen Sturdy


This stitch works best in a thread which holds its shape such as a perle or other heavy thread.

To increase the size of your chains, increase the distance from the design line when you take your needle down and bring it back up.  To increase the spacing between the chains, increase the length of the slanted stitch.


Bring your needle up at the right-hand end of the design line and then take it down slightly to the left and just above the line to form a slanted stitch.


Bring your needle up immediately below the design line, in line with where it was taken down.


Throw your thread to the left and (without piercing the fabric) slide your needle under the slanted stitch.  Leave a loop on the surface.


Throw your thread to the left again, but this time take your needle under the loop and up through the middle of it.  Draw your thread through to the desired size of chain.


Make another slanted stitch and continue working the stitch.


A line of knotted chain stitch.

Knotted chain stitch

Structure of stitch

Embroidery Techniques

Related Stitches


  • Mrs Archibald Christie, Samplers and Stitches (1921) , p.55–6
  • Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches (1934) , p.38–9