Hand Sewing Basics: Knot a Thread | Madam Sew

Hand Sewing Basics: Knot a Thread

When you hand sew, you don’t want the thread that you start with to pull right out. To keep that from happening, you’ll want to tie a knot at the end of the thread or threads you will be using to sew. And, when you finish your project, often, you’ll also want to knot the thread so your project doesn’t unravel from that end.

knot a thread
knot a thread
Hand sewing

All this sounds simple enough, but if you have never done it before and you want to learn, we’ll guide you through.

Knotting the End of Your Thread Before Sewing

Sometimes when Hand Sewing you’ll only be using one of the threads (single threading) for your project. While at other times, you’ll be using both threads (double threading). In either case, when you have to knot your thread, you’ll be using the same process. If you need more information on what Single Threading or Double Threading is…check out the Hand Sewing Basics: Single or Double Thread? Blog.

First step, wrap the end of your thread or threads around your pointer finger (the one next to your thumb) so that the main part of the thread or threads crosses the end once. This is your “loop” of thread.

knotting the end
double thread

Now, place your thumb just before the thread/s on your finger and slide it over the threads so that they roll onto each other. What you are essentially doing is getting the thread to feed itself through the loop you formed. Do not lift your thumb once you get to the other side of the thread or the end of your pointer finger. The thread/s should be caught beneath.

While still holding the thread/s between your thumb and finger, grasp the long end of the thread/s and pull while still holding them. You should feel the threads between your finger and thumb form a knot. Sometimes, it takes more than one try. But with practice, you’ll be able to do this step successfully almost every time.

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To see this whole process in action, watch the videos for Knotting a Single Thread or Knotting a Double Thread.

Knotting the End of Your Thread at the End of Your Project

When you get to the end of your hand sewing projects, such as attaching Hook & Eye Fasteners, buttons, fixing a hole in a seam, etc. you will need to secure your thread so that your project doesn’t come apart from the end.

One of the methods to secure your thread is to knot the thread next to the end point on your project.

First, take a small stitch next to the end of your project but when pulling the thread through for the stitch, leave a little loop.

hook eye

You’ll now feed the needle through this loop and pull it tight. This creates a tiny knot. Repeat this step 1-2 more times and then snip the thread/s near your knot. You have now secured your project’s end with a knot.

Watch the Knot Your Thread at the End of Your Project Video to see this whole process in action.

We hope this helps you for all of the times that you might need to hand sew.

Have any tips of your own regarding hand sewing? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Happy Sewing or Quilting!

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