5 ways to Tie a Knot and secure your thread in Hand Stitching

Some people abandon sewing altogether in the initial days of starting sewing, just like my daughter did. She got frustrated at simple things like threading a needle, being unable to knot the thread and major things like the sewing machine tangling all the thread in the spool.

In Sewing, such frustrations come up all the time. If you are passionate, you brush away these irritations and carry on.

Making a thread knot is the easiest of things and at the start of sewing or embroidery, does the simple job of locking the stitches from getting undone. But, If you do not want a knot anywhere near your sewing – it is understandable, knots are knobby and somewhat displeasing to the eye (Understatement of the year). There are many simple ways of anchoring your hand sewing stitches – with knots and without knots.

1. Make a knot with fingers

When you have been sewing for a long time you can make these knots in your sleep. But to explain the twirls needed for making this knot is difficult – but it goes like this.

You take the end of the thread and make two or three loops around your right hand pointing finger, then using your thumb, twirl it in the pointing finger itself so that the loop mix up. Now ease the loops out of the finger and then pull the thread to tighten the knot.

But if this one sounds difficult move onto the next method – this one has no gymnastics with fingers.

2. Make a Knot with bullion knot twirls

If the finger twirl seems beyond you, try this very easy method

Thread your needle and bring the thread end to face the eye of the needle as in the picture below.

threading the needle

Twirl the thread over the needle two or three times.

easy way to thread a needle

Ease the twirls or coils slowly down the thread and it will tighten as you go down.

easy way to thread a needle

There you have your knot.

how to thread a needle

3. Make locking stitch

This method does not make any knot but makes a tacking stitch -this is made the way a tailor’s tack stitch is made.


Take up two or three threads with your needle; come again at the same place and take up two thread at the same place  – this time making a loop; do not tighten this loop- leave it as it is.

Bring up the needle through this loop  – now tighten the thread.

You will have made a secure stitch. Make one more to secure it more. Cut thread tail

4. Make loop knot stitch

This is another favourite for anchoring thread without a knot 

To make this stitch first fold your thread by the middle.

sewing knot

Thread your needle with the thread tails – with the fold on one side – the thread tail is kept as a shorter side

making thread knot

Now take up the needle through the fabric

thread knot

Without withdrawing the whole thread out, insert and bring up the needle through the fold of the thread

Tighten – your thread is nicely anchored there. Carry on with your sewing or embroidery.

sewing knots

5. Make a double back stitch

If you dislike the knot on the backside of your work and want an easy way to secure the thread, just make double back stitches where you start. Learn how to do a back stitch here.

Related post: 10 different ways to tie knots ; 6 Knot stitches in embroidery ; Hand sewing Basics ; 9 Basic Hand stitches.

5 thoughts on “5 ways to Tie a Knot and secure your thread in Hand Stitching”

  1. Methods 1 and 2 aren’t actual knots, though — they’re just tangled, rolled thread that could become untangled over time. Methods 3 and 5 also aren’t knots and could come undone if snagged or tugged. Method 4 seems sturdy, but it requires pulling 4 thicknesses of thread through each hole the needle makes in the fabric. I guess I’ll keep using the method of tying multiple double knots on top of each other until a large enough lump is formed that it can’t be pulled through the fabric.

    1. Methods 1 and 2 make knots for me. It’s a way of rolling the thread that knots it … I could replicate this by making a small circle of thread and making a second or third circle next to it and then threading the end through the loop several times then tightening to make a a knot. But with practice you can do the same knot as described in 1 this way.

      I have probably not made sense but for me it does make a knot.

      I am not sure how you define a knot but for me 3 is also a knot. It relies on the fact that you have gone through the same hole twice to fix it … and yes its maybe not a knot I would use on a load bearing join of fabrics but for a hem it is perfect. It works on the same principle as back stitching with a machine but rather than doing a few stitches back you do the one set and knot it through the fabric.

      I think perhaps its a matter of perspective and definition but different knots suit different purposes.

      1. They are bouillions and trust me they are very helpful in getting stiching done faster and they are generally very secure depending on what kind of stitch your using. If you are worried about unraveling backstitching a couple times works great as a backup especially as it doesn’t require a knot that sits up on fabric risking it to be jostled and pulled out. The only thing about method 3 which I use quite a lot is that it does tend to make the thread more prone to tangling together while working with it. It’s for this reason I’m looking for some alternatives

Leave a Reply

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