Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How to Tie a Knot in Thread

This is how my mom taught me to make a knot in my thread many years ago.  It feels like a magic trick. A knot seems to appear out of thin air!  

Here are the steps.

1.  Hold a threaded needle up in the air and pull at the thread tail ends until they are even. 

2.  With the thread, make an X on your pointer finger about 2 or 3 inches from the thread tail end.

3.  Press on the X with your thumb.  Sometimes it helps to stick your finger in your mouth first to get it wet. Then the X stays put. I always thought that was kind of gross so I learned to do it on my dry finger.  Do whichever works for you.

4.  While lightly pinching the X, roll the thread off your finger.  Roll only in one direction. Do not roll the thread back and forth. That just keeps doing and undoing your knot, and it won't work!

Now you should have a twisty looking loop of thread like the photo below.

5. Hold the threaded needle up high again, and with the other hand lightly pinch your pointer finger and thumb together around the thread. The thread should now be in between your thumb and finger.  Slide them down the thread to the loop and tug very lightly. 

This will make your knot, or thread goober, as I like to call it. 

This knot will keep the thread from pulling all the way through your fabric when you sew. 

It's like a little traffic cop that says, "Hey, you!  Stop right there!"

Don’t worry if your knot is big at first.  You’re going to hide it between two pieces of fabric anyway. No one will see it.  It will get smaller with practice, I promise.  

Learning to do this by yourself from the start means you won't have to ask Mom for help!

TIP:  If the twisty loop disappears when you slide your fingers down the thread, and no knot appears, don’t panic.  Try making the X further from the tail end of the thread next time. 

Keep trying.  It will work! 


  1. Just so you know...this is brilliant! Thank you for sharing!!

  2. Thank you! I've tried to teach my daughter how to do this, but it was hard to break down what I knew into steps she could learn. I really appreciate this tutorial. I'm going to check out the rest of your blog now!

    1. I'm so glad the tutorial helped! Thanks for dropping by.

  3. I am an adult and could never tie a sewing knot right but I did it the 1st time with your easy instructions! Thanks!

  4. I love this!!! My mom taught me the same way with cross stitch and sewing. Thank you for website and the information you offer!

    1. Hi Cristi! Thank you for coming to the website. It sounds like maybe seeing this post brought back some really good memories of you sewing with your mom. :)


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