How to tie a perfect knot for stitching


It seems simple right? Most instruction sheets start with “thread your needle and tie a knot in your thread”.   Then they get to the good stuff.

Over the years I have taught many craft and stitching classes and have found that I can’t just assume that everyone has been taught how to tie a knot.   New stitchers often struggle and then mistakenly think that they just aren’t talented at sewing before they’ve even gotten started.    It’s one of those thing like tying your shoelace: easier to just do it than to explain.  It’s also much easier to teach in person, but I’ll give it a shot here.

First you will need to thread your needle. To do this I pinch the thread between my index finger and thumb of my left hand with just a smidge sticking out free. Then I take the needle in my right hand, squint, and push the eye (the hole) of the needle over the thread ends until they go through. Grab the thread and pull it through the hole about 3-4″ to keep the needle from becoming unthreaded.

Now we will tie the knot at the opposite end.

Hold the needle in your right hand with the point facing away from your palm.  Hold the end of the thread in your left hand.

Now place the needle over the thread end and pinch both the needle and the thread end in your right hand as shown.

Using your left hand, wrap thread around the needle approximately 3 times. The more you wrap, the larger your knot will be.

Lightly pinch the wrapped section with your right hand index finger and thumb to keep them in place.

Let go of the thread with your left hand and grab the needle.  Keeping your right hand still pinching the looped end,  you will pull that needle (and the thread that follows) out.  Go slowly.   Pinch more with your right hand as you get close to the end and it will tighten that knot right where you want it.

You should end up with a knot near the end of the thread. Sometimes it’s a loopy disaster.  That’s ok.   Just trim it a bit on the end and start over. Keep practicing and you will get better at it.

Trim the end close to the knot and you are ready to stitch :).