Coral Stitch Step by Step Tutorial

Coral stitch is also known as coral knot, German knot stitch, knotted stitch, beaded stitch, and snail trail. It is also incorrectly known as scroll stitch.  If you compare the two stitches you will see the needle is wrapped in a different manner producing a different look to the line.

Coral stitch is an old embroidery stitch which creates a line that looks like a row of knots and is used for outlines as it follows a curved detail well.

It is also a very useful stitch for twiggy bits in a floral design. If you work it in a very precise manner with knot spaced at exact intervals coral stitch can also be used to create a knotted filling with the knots forming a secondary pattern across the filling.

How to work Coral Stitch 

Coral stitch is worked from right to left. To work bring the thread up from the back of the fabric and hold it loosely on the surface of the fabric with your thumb.

Insert the needle at a slight right angle, above the line to be worked and bring it out just below the line to be worked and under the fabric that is laid flat to the fabric. Wrap the thread under the needle as illustrated.

Coral stitch step 1

Pull the needle through the fabric  to form a knot.

Coral stitch step 2Continue in this manner along the line.

Coral stitch step 3

Coral stitch can be varied by altering the angle of the needle as it passes through the fabric. Some people work this stitch with the needle entering the fabric in a vertical position as it passes through the fabric. This will produce a tighter knot.  By altering the spacing of the knots along the row the stitch can appear to be different.

The effect created is also altered by the weight and twist of the thread used. This sample was worked using perle # 5 cotton however experiment with threads as this stitch looks good worked in thicker threads or even a fine ribbon.




Scroll Stitch Step by Step Tutorial

At first glance Scroll Stitch does not look too exciting but it is one of those stitches where using different threads creates all sorts of interesting effects from a braid like stitch to a line of spaced knots.

Scroll stitch sampleYou can work it on a tight curve and looks good when used to define a disk. As you can see in the sample above I worked a series of scallops along a seam on a crazy quilt block.

Scroll stitch can be worked back to back to produce a heavy line or even lines stacked one against the other. This is particularly successful if you use a variegated or hand dyed thread because it can produce interesting texture and appearance as the colour shifts.

Scroll stitch is also known as single knotted line stitch.

How to hand embroider Scroll Stitch

Scroll stitch instructions step 1Work scroll stitch from left to right along the line.

Bring your needle out of the fabric on the left, move along the line slightly and insert your needle on the line in a diagonal position pointing left taking a small bit of the fabric.

Scroll stitch instructions step 2With the thread wrapped behind and under the needle, pull through the fabric. As you work along the line do not pull the loop too tightly.

Scroll stitch instructions step 3This sample was worked using perle # 5 cotton however experiment with threads as this stitch looks good worked in thicker threads or even a fine ribbon.

Novelty threads often work well with this stitch so do experiment a bit.