French knots VS Colonial knots

What is the difference between the French knot and the Colonial knot? Which stitch is better? Can I use them interchangeably? Which one is easier to embroider? – These are the questions I get often asked. 

Here are the French knots and Colonial knots embroidered next to each other. Can you see the difference?

The knots are similar, though the French knot is generally a tighter and smaller stitch and the Colonial knot is naturally fuller. But is the difference big enough to recognize these stitches? I don’t think so.

Can you use French and Colonial knots interchangeably?

Yes. If the pattern says “use Colonial knots,” but you find them hard to embroider, change them with the French knots. And vice versa – change French knots with Colonial knots if you like to embroider them more. I can assure you – no one will notice.

Which stitch is easier to embroider?

It depends. Some say that the Colonial knot is easier. Others are French knot fans. Try them both and choose your favorite. The video tutorial below will help you to practice!