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Bullion Stitch

By Admin Wednesday May 8, 2019


The bullion stitch is a popular hand embroidery technique that is used in making simple motifs. Also known by the names bullion knot, caterpillar, coil, post and worm stitches it is an elongated knot that can be grouped for making dense textures. It has an embossed 3D look and is a part of Brazilian embroidery. The stitch also finds applications in cutwork, lace work and is the basic decoration of smocking. You can use the knot as leaves, buds, flower petals, etc. on a girl’s dress.

Bullion Stitch
Bullion Stitch

Bullion Stitch Procedure


  • Milliner’s needle
  • Fabric that you want to embroider
  • Thread
  • Scissors

How to Make Bullion Stitch Step by Step

Step 1: Bring the needle up, take it down through the fabric at the desired stitch length taking care to not pull the thread all the way through the fabric and bring it up partly through the same point.

Bullion Stitch Picture 1

Step 2: Wrap the thread around the needle without any overlapping as shown in the figure. The distance of the wound thread should be the same as the stitch length mentioned in step 1.

Bullion Stitch Picture 2

Step 3: Use your finger to hold the wrapped thread and pull out the needle through the wraps. Pull the needle out completely in the upward direction till the turns lay on the cloth as shown.

Bullion Stitch Picture 3

Step 4: In the end, gently push the wraps close to each other with the needle and take the needle down through the end point of the row, maintaining tension in the thread.

Bullion Stitch Picture 4

Step 5: The stitch is now complete. It takes a linear shape like a skinny football.

Bullion Stitch Picture 5

Bullion Stitch Video Tutorial

Interesting Variations

If you want to decorate your bed cover with a big flower, for example, you can use the long bullion stitch. For this, you have to take a longer needle and increase the number of wraps around it.

Long Bullion Stitch

Long Bullion Stitch Design

If the number of wraps is plentiful and the space for the stitch is small, the knot would curve into a loop shape. You can use it for making flowers on a cloth bag.

Bullion Loop Stitch

Bullion Loop Stitch Pattern

Free Bullion Stitch Embroidery Patterns

The spiral pattern of the stitch can be used in making a dainty rose. It suits beginners and can be done on blankets. Click on the link below for the step by step.

Bullion Knot Stitch Rose

Bullion Rose Stitch Embroidery Design

Make this pretty flower and surround it with flowers made with other stitches for creating a bouquet. You may vary the length of the petals for a unique look. Similarly, needlework daisy, train and grapes can be embroidered.

Bullion Stitch Flower

Bullion Stitch Needlepoint Flower Pattern

The bumblebee looks cute on your Easter basket. Other animals that can be made with the stitch are bunnies, ladybird, bear, elephant and sheep. Critters like ducks bring a smile to kids’ faces.

Bullion Stitch Bees

Hand Embroidery Bullion Stitch Bee Design

Beautiful lavenders are embroidered by stitching the bullion knot straight. The flowers are made with six wraps around the needle. If you want them longer, you can make it twelve.

Bullion Stitch Lavender

Bullion Stitch Lavender Pattern

By now, you must be eager to start off with your needle and thread. If you want, you can draw lines on your material for guiding the direction of the stitch. Master it with practice to make lovely dresses and accessories that garner a lot of attention for their hand embroidery.

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