Turkey Work 960x640
Turkey Work 960x640

I make a small commission for items purchased through the links on this page. Visit here or here to learn more. Thank you for the support!

Fringe for Cross Stitch aka Turkey Work (with Video)

Turkey work, also known as Ghiordes knot, is the fringe stitch in handmade embroidery. Learn this stitch to add a luxurious lion’s mane, fluffy pom-poms or any sort of soft, plush texture to your embroidery project.

I teach 2 verions: the standard version and a fuller, fluffier version.

The Best Cross Stitch Stuff

A curated list of my favorite cross stitch tools and supplies.

Follow along in this video, or scroll below to read the rest of the blog post.

Play Video

How to Start and Secure Turkey Work

Turkey Work uses a LOT of thread. You will need to cut extra long pieces of embroidery floss for this stitch.

After threading your needle, do NOT tie a knot at the end of the thread. Leave it loose to form the first piece of your fringe.

 

Start by pushing your needle through the fabric from the front to the back at the edge of where you want the fluff to be. Leave a tail of thread on the top of the fabric. This will be the first piece of fringe.

 

Next, move one space to the left and push the needle from the back to the front.

 

Then, move two spaces to the right and push the needle from the front, through to the back of the fabric.

 

Pull the thread taught. This stitch secures the end of the thread.

 

Standard Turkey Work

Push the needle through from the font in the same hole as the first piece of fringe.

 

To form the first loop, count two holes to the right and push the needle through to the back.

 

Don’t pull the thread all the way. Leave enough embroidery floss to form the first loop. It should be long enough to be the same height as the tail of thread.

 

From the back, move the needle one space to the left and push through to the front, coming up in the middle of the two legs of the loop.

 

Then, move the needle two spaces to the right and push through from the front to the back. The first loop is done.

 

The Second Loop for Turkey Work

Move the needle in the back one space to the left, and push through to the front in the same hole as the second leg of the loop. 

 

Next, count two spaces to the right, and push the needle through to the back of the fabric.

 

Pull the thread through only enough to leave room to form a second loop. 

 

From the back, move the needle one space to the left and push through to the front.

 

Finally, count two spaces to the right and push the needle through to the back. The second loop is secure.

 

Repeat the steps above to finish the first row of Turkey Work.

 

The Second Row of Turkey Work

The second row should be staggered to the first row.

First, create a secure, horizontal stitch that covers two spaces. It should not line up directly with the secure stitch in the first row.

Then, push the needle from the back to the front in the center of that secure, horizontal stitch.

 

Next, move the needle two spaces to the left and push through from the front to the back. Leave enough slack in the embroidery floss to create the first loop on the second row.

 

From the back of the fabric, move the needle one space to the right, and push to come up in the middle of the loop.

 

Before moving on to the next step, I just wanted to take a moment to show how the stitches in the second row are staggered compared to the first. 

The legs of the loops in the second row match up to the middle of the loops in the first row. This prevents blank spots.

 

Move the needle two spaces to the left and push through to the back, securing the second leg of the first loop on the second row of your Turkey Work.

Continue across the second row – and all rows – until you’ve completed area.

 

Finish Touches for Turkey Work

Use your embroidery scissors to snip all the loops. This is optional. You could skip to the next step, but I find it easier to snip the loops first..

 

Finally, use your embroidery scissors to trim the Turkey Work to your desired height.

 

Create a Fluffier Turkey Work

The fuller, fluffier version of Turkey Work starts out the same as the standard version.

In the standard version, the second loop starts in the same place as the second leg of the first loop. In the fluffier version, push the needle up through the middle of the first loop. This starts the second loop.

 

Count two spaces to the right, and push the needle through to the back. Leave enough slack in the embroidery floss to create the second loop.

 

Move one space to the left and pull the needle up through the middle of the second loop.

 

Again, count two holes to the right and push the needle through to the back. This secures the second leg of the second loop.

 

What makes this other method for Turkey Work different is that is creates staggered loops in each row.

 

Finish the version the same way as the standard version by trimming with embroidery scissors.

This version doubles the amount of fringe – and floss – to create a lush texture.

 

To end the thread in Turkey Work, bury the tail under the stitches.

 

Here you can see the two versions next to each other.

Finished!

You Might Also Like...

Leave a Reply

Get Access to My Free VIP Patterns!

Become a Notorious VIP (free) to get exclusive access to free patterns, and never miss a tutorial or new pattern.

* indicates required

I am over 18 and I don't mind swear words. I consent to receiving emails from Notorious Needle.

You can unsubscribe at any time.

New to Cross Stitch?

Check out my helpful cross stitch tutorials series, the Beginners Guide to Cross Stitch.

You’re welcome and encouraged to link to NotoriousNeedle.com or use a single image with a brief description to link back to any post. Republishing posts in their entirety is prohibited. Feel free to pin on Pinterest!

AMAZON AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE

NotoriousNeedle.com also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the here or here to learn more. Thank you for the support!

By continuing to use this site, you give your consent to our use of cookies for analytics, personalization and ads; and you confirm you are 18 years of age or older.