how to tie a sewing knot

How To Tie a Sewing Knot

Whether new to sewing or an experienced seamstress, learning to tie knots properly is an essential technique for any hand-sewing project. A secure sewing knot keeps your stitches from unraveling and prevents threads from pulling through the fabric. While sewing machines automate stitching for us, hand sewing opens up intricate techniques like embroidery, quilting, and mending clothing. So, let’s go over the basics of how to tie a sewing knot by hand.

To start, what supplies do you need? For most hand-sewing knots, you’ll need a sharp sewing needle, thread, and a piece of fabric to practice on. Optional tools like a needle threader and thread snips help get set up faster.

Steps to Tie a Basic Sewing Knot

Tying a simple double knot by hand takes a bit of skill but gets easier with practice. Follow these steps to tie a secure knot for your hand sewing:

Thread the Needle

Start by cutting about 18 inches of thread, then insert one end through the eye of the needle. You can dampen the end to flatten any fraying fibers. For tricky threading, use a needle threader tool or sticky wax. Double the thread if you want extra thickness for sewing thicker fabrics.

Make a Loop

Pinch the long thread tail end between your thumb and index finger. Roll them together to twist it into a simple loop knot.

Wrap the thread

Wrap the thread
Photo credit: freepik

Take the needle end in your dominant hand and wrap it over your index finger once or twice.

Pull the Thread Through

Roll your index finger slightly to bring the needle end through the loop. Apply gentle pressure as you tighten by pulling on both thread ends.

Repeat for a Double Knot

Repeat the same process, wrapping the needle thread around your finger and back through the loop. The double knot helps secure the stitches.

Tips for a Perfect Sewing Knot

When tying knots for hand sewing:

  • Keep knots tight, but be careful not to pull too tightly, or the thread could snap.
  • Trim excess thread tails after finishing the knot.
  • Use your free index finger to hold the knot in place as you pull the knot tight.
  • For knots at the end of a seam, knot close to the fabric.

Common Sewing Knots

Beyond the basic double knot, there are some variations for specific sewing needs:

Quilter’s Knot

A quilter’s knot creates a tiny knot very close to the fabric surface. It’s great for quilting, applique, and embroidery, so knots don’t show through to the front side.

French Knot

This decorative knot creates a raised textured bump on the fabric surface. Wrap the thread three times or more before pulling through the loop.

Knotting Off Loose Thread

Finishing stitches with a tight double knot against the fabric prevents loose ends from unraveling. Trim excess.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best knot for hand sewing?

The double knot is the most secure basic knot for hand sewing. Make two knots close together at the beginning and end of your stitching.

How do I keep hand-sewing knots from unraveling?

Pull the knot tight as you tie it, trim excess thread, and knot close to the fabric surface. Using a finger to hold knots helps, too.

When should I use a quilter’s knot?

A quilter’s knot is ideal when you want tiny knots that don’t show through the front of quilts or embroidery. It stays close to the fabric surface.

What thread is best for hand-sewing knots?

Cotton or polyester thread will hold knots securely. Avoid slippery metallic or satin threads, which can cause loosening.

How tight should I pull sewing knots?

Keep tension firm, but be careful not to over-pull the thread, or it can break. Test different tightness on scrap fabric first.

Can I use embroidery floss for hand-sewing knots?

Yes, you can tie knots with embroidery floss the same way. Use all six strands or reduce for thinner projects.


Learning to tie a knot by hand smoothly takes practice, but it is a handy technique for sewing, embroidery, quilting, crafts, and mending clothes. Start by threading your needle, looping the thread, and wrapping it to create a secure double knot. Keeping knots tight without over-pulling, trimming thread ends, and using your finger to hold knots helps. Be patient, and you’ll get the hang of it!

Now you know the basics for how to tie a sewing knot. What tips would you add? Let me know in the comments!


Main image: freepik

Priti Nandy
Priti Nandy
Articles: 169

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *