Also known as Ghiordes knot, quilt knot stitch, single knotted Smyrna rug stitch, tufted knot stitch, turkey rug knot.

The stitch is used on plain weave, single and double canvas, and produces a surface of closely worked loops which are sometimes trimmed for a rich pile effect.  It is frequently used

for doll’s hair, left in a looped state without trimming, as well as on any surface where a textured effect is desired. Work the stitch in thick wool, multiple strands of wool or multiple strands of any thread/floss.



The needle goes down (to the wrong side) at A. Leave a length of thread (one to two inches or more) under your thumb on the right side.

Bring the needle up at B and down at C, making a back stitch. Continue to hold the tail in place.

Bring the needle up again at A.

Make another loop the same length as the original free thread, going down at D.

Bring the needle up at E and down at B, creating the second back stitch. These back stitches lock the loops in place. Notice that when doing the loop stitch, the thread is toward you, and when doing the back stitch, the thread is away from you. This further creates a locking stitch, helping to hold the loops the same size.


Continue in this manner until the area is filled (usually in straight rows). Cut the pile and brush out for a very fluffy appearance, or leave the loops intact (such as for doll hair).

A trick when requiring loops of even lengths is to use a fat knitting needle, a free finger, or other object (stiff cardboard cut to desired size) which will keep the loops the same size as you work.

Illustrations are from Jane Nicholas’ book Stumpwork Embroidery. These are the best illustrations and directions I have found for this stitch.