Chinese Knots in Indian Embroidery-Challa Work

Update : I've finally got the name of the Indian technique which uses chinese knots.It is called Challa work or ring knots. Thank you Lakshmi!!!
WARNING : very strenuous stitch to the eye.

The stitch added to the ROSE sampler this week is Chinese knot aka Blind knot(coz you may go blind if you try too many of them)This one is also known as forbidden knot or pekin knot.Certain embroidery techniques in India too use these knots-probably chinese influence.I still have to find out the name of the technique.If anyone is aware please get back to me.

Ok,back to the stitching part.Unlike french knot which is usually two wrap or multiple number of wraps,chinese knot is just a single knot and the knot could be tightened or kept loose like a ring.It is flatter and not as twisted as the french knot.
Here's a quick step by step:

Come up at the point where you want the knot, and wrap the thread around the the needle once.Don't pull the loop too tight.Keep it a little loose.Go down near the point you came up.
Do you see the arrow mark? The tension on that thread determines the shape of the knot.If pulled tight - it becomes similar to single wrap french knot.

Slowly pull down keeping a finger on the loop or knot.

Usually this knot is better done with silk threads. Heavier ones would be better. I tried with pearl cotton (see above) and found them too tedious to work with. Unfortunately my collection of threads is limited to pearl cotton ,rayon and cotton. So you'll have to be contend with this.

I did try with Edmar Nova which is a heavy thread,but did not find them too convenient.Anyways above pic has the knots in different sizes. The arrow marked one is a variation of chinese knot where the loop is tacked down at the point shown.
And finally,I could do only this..too tedious and time consuming.. Just imagine how much effort would 've gone in for this pattern below.

This one is a chinese sleeve band where the lily is filled with blind knots..(courtesy,


  1. What a beautiful work!
    Thanks for sharing, Deepa!

  2. hi deepa thank u ..i've done this work long back.....its almost like cherla work. we also call it ring knots

  3. hi deepa,
    thank u..
    hey i've done this honey comb stitch too long back...we call it net work...honey comb filling is different...its a very old friend's granny tought me this..i've also done 6 variatins of chemanthi works..(chemanthi is a telugu word for chrisanthumums) the stitch resembles the flower they named it..we can also do pachis work in 3 different ways...navar work is like kadai kamal work again its a very beautiful sttich...n also i have used bullion rose works for big flowers..n many more variations of knot works...
    am happy to say tht they all came from ANDHRA..
    hey dipa im regular reader of your blog..i have shared a very few of my works in in hobbies section..under the id chitti67...
    plese have a look


  4. Thanks a lot Lakshmi!! Andhra is so rich in terms of embroidery and artwork.So glad to have found you - may be we can exchange ideas.

  5. Hi Deepa

    This type of knot is also used in Japanese embroidery (probably taken from Chinese embroidery). They call it sagara embroidery.

    I thought you might like to see this obi stitched entirely in sagara embroidery.

  6. oh u have so beautiful collection! thanks 4 sharing..


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