Pistil Stitch

Pistil Stitch

A Pistil stitch is a knot with a tail or a straight stitch with a knot at the end – as you wish to see it.

This hand embroidery technique comes from the knot stitch family and is executed very similarly to a French Knot.

Other names of the stitch

The alternative names of this hand embroidery stitch are Long Armed French Knot, Long French Knot, and French Knot on Stalks.

Pistil stitch front side
Pistil stitch embroidery in a row and in circle
Rear side of Pistil stitch embroidery
Rear side of Pistil stitch embroidery

Applications of the Pistil Stitch

This hand embroidery stitch depicts the central part of the flower, so it is mostly used in floral embroidery. You can also combine this technique with other hand embroidery stitches to create intriguing border designs or composite stitches.

More stitches from the Knot stitch family

Learn how to embroider Pistil Stitch

Follow the step-by-step tutorial with detailed photos below, and you will learn the Pistil Stitch quickly. If you are a visual learner, watch a video lesson in the tutorial or on the Practical Embroidery YouTube channel to learn this hand embroidery stitch faster.

Pistil stitch embroidery

How to embroider Pistil Stitch

Step-by-step hand embroidery tutorial


1. Take the needle up at the starting point of the stitch.

Pistil stitch Step1

2. Wind the working floss around the needle one or two times. Keep the working thread in tension.

Pistil stitch Step2

3. Push the needle down at the point where the stitch ends. Do not let the wraps loosen.

Pistil stitch Step3

4. Pull the thread to the back of the fabric. Hold the wraps in tension until the last moment.

Pistil stitch Step4

5. Tighten the knot and move to the next stitch. You can embroider detached stitches or form them into a circle.

Pistil stitch Step5

Video tutorial

Tools and materials I used for this sampler

Disclaimer. To cover the cost of creating free embroidery patterns and video tutorials for this blog, I do sometimes link to products. Please assume these links are affiliate links. If you choose to buy through my links then THANK YOU – it will make it possible for me to keep doing this.

Embroidery fabric cotton linen neutral colors Etsy
Embroidery fabric
DMC Embroidery Floss Etsy
DMC Embroidery Floss
DMC Pearl Cotton #8 thread on Etsy
DMC Pearl Cotton #8
Beechwood embroidery hoops Etsy
Embroidery hoop
Bohin Embroidery Needles Etsy
Bohin Embroidery Needles
Embroidery Scissors Etsy
Embroidery Scissors

What’s next?

If you’re in the mood to explore more hand embroidery stitches, check out the Stitches and Techniques page for the list of other fantastic stitches available on my blog. From timeless classics to modern twists, a whole world of stitches is waiting for you to explore and master. So, grab your hoop and needle, and let’s stitch our way to creative bliss!

Don’t miss a thing!

Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Or why not subscribe to Practical Embroidery and get embroidery tips straight to your inbox every few weeks?

Need More Guidance?

The top 10 hand embroidery stitches to learn is a free online course created for beginners.

White sashiko stitches on purple fabric