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The Easy Way to Tie a Knot at the End of Your Sewing Thread

This is a wonderful trick I learned in a millinery class. It’s one of those silly things that someone shows you and you wonder why you never thought of that….  It’s simply the fastest way to tie a knot at the end of your sewing thread. I mean, right at the end, every time, without the knot slipping off the end of the thread.

needle and thread end in hand
Start with a threaded needle. Hold the end of the thread and the needle in the same hand, so that the thread makes a giant loop.
thread and needle held between thumb and forefinger
Grasp both thread and needle between your thumb and index finger. Hold them towards the eye of the needle. There should be about 1/4" of thread tail hanging past your thumb.
winding the thread around the needle
Wind the thread around the needle three to five times. The more you wind, the bigger the knot. I usually use my other hand to do this, but it's holding a camera.
knot has been slid partway along thread
Shift your grip slightly so you're pinching the wrapped thread and the needle. Grasp the needle with your other hand, and pull it as though taking a stitch. This will slide the little coil of thread onto the main thread (seen here).
knot at end of thread
Continue pulling the needle, until the thread has all been pulled through the coil. Let go of the end. You have a knot.
creating a larger knot
If your knot is not large enough, simply repeat the process. Make sure that the original knot is somewhere in the middle of the thread you're wrapping around the needle.
bigger knot at end of thread
Pull the needle through, as before. Now you have a larger knot, because your original knot is in the middle of the new knot.


  1. Stephanie H
    Stephanie H January 27, 2011

    You’re a genius! Thanks, Missa!
    [And you’re right, I’m all “Geez, why didn’t *I* think of that?”] :-)

  2. missa
    missa January 27, 2011

    Teehee…. That is *exactly* what I thought when I learned it. I’ve never gone back to knotting off thread (starting or finishing) with anything but a bullion knot. (Well, except when I forget to leave myself enough thread. That’s a whole different thing, though.)

  3. Jeanne
    Jeanne June 2, 2011

    One of my college costume instructors could tie a knot with one hand–although she showed me more than once, I never could figure out how she was doing it. I will have to try this method! (enjoying all your postings!)

    • missa
      missa June 2, 2011

      Yep – down with that. ;) I’ve learned to do a lot of sewing tasks one handed, mostly because I lack the planning skills to to obvious things (like threading needles and tying knots) in advance. *laugh*
      Glad you’re enjoying the site!

  4. Liza
    Liza July 17, 2011

    Oh, I will SOOOO have to try this! I’ve never been able to master the ‘loop the thread around your index finger a few times, slide it off and pull” technique… I wind up with a HUGE snarl, not the neat little knot that everyone else under the sun seems to get. Thanks for the pointer. :)

  5. Annique
    Annique November 21, 2011

    I nominate your for a Pulitzer Prize!

  6. Matia Travis
    Matia Travis August 11, 2015

    It would have been nice,if you had used a darker thread for was difficult to see the light colored thread. Thanks

    • missa
      missa August 13, 2015

      Sorry, Matia – sometimes these things come up while I’m actively sewing something, and then I just take pics of whatever I’m working with.

  7. HC
    HC June 4, 2016

    Thank you for this post. I’ve read about this method on other sites but just didn’t get it until now. You made it easy.

  8. cathy
    cathy May 18, 2018

    awesome trick thanks!

    • missa
      missa May 18, 2018

      You’re welcome, Cathy! :)

  9. DZ
    DZ October 14, 2018

    It helps to explain to your readers which end of the loop of thread gets wrapped around the needle. I often try to remember this trick, but I don’t make a knot. This time, when I consulted your website, I failed the first time. The second it worked when I wrapped the thread loop at the side closest to that little tail hanging out between thumb and forefinger. If it’s already in your instructions, please accept my apology for not reading carefully enough. Thank you for posting this!

    • missa
      missa October 14, 2018

      Hi, DZ – I will recheck the article, and update it if I left that out! It’s easier to remember if you visualize it as a big loop (I always think of the Norse serpent eating its own tail), then wrap the loop part of the thread around the needle like some sort of fancy calligraphic O. I think in pictures a lot, though. :)

  10. Amy
    Amy December 1, 2018

    OMG…You are my HERO!!! I am a fairly intelligent person, but my mom hasntried showing me the “grip the thread and wrap around fingers and pull” method a zillion times and I just cannot do it. I tried your tip andngot it on the FIRST try!! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    • missa
      missa December 1, 2018

      You are very welcome, Amy! I’m glad it helped! :)

    • missa
      missa January 13, 2019

      Amy – I am glad it helped! Also, my apologies. I thought I posted a response to this a month ago! Your comment made me smile a lot. :)

  11. Kathleen Risa
    Kathleen Risa January 13, 2019

    Also called a quilters knot. Been sewing mostly apparel for about 60 years, had same trouble with knots described by other commenters. Started quilting a few years back, and learned this knot in quilt classes. A godsend!

    • missa
      missa January 13, 2019

      Ooooh, I didn’t know it was used in quilting, Kathleen! It’s the best little starting (and ending, with a little mod) knot I know!

  12. I dont get it
    I dont get it December 28, 2020

    I dont get it. How are you supposed to wrap thread around a needle, pinch it off of the needle and magically get a knot out of that this is really frustrating for me.

    • missa
      missa January 26, 2021

      Sorry it’s frustrating! but yes, that is *exactly* what you’re supposed to do for this. If you embroider at all, think of it as a french knot done without fabric. If you don’t embroider…. that’s not super helpful. I have some ideas for explaining this better, but it takes me a year to get to anything lately. :(

  13. Karin Schedel
    Karin Schedel January 27, 2021

    I did it, I did it, I did it! Dances around the room shaking her knot in the air, lol. Thank you so much for this and it is quite easy once you do it right duh. The third time was the charm. Thanks again missa love this.

    • missa
      missa January 27, 2021

      YAY!!!!! Congrats! FWIW, when a millinery teacher first showed me this years and years (and years) ago, I was actively angry until I got it to work. And then it started working and life was mas awesomesauce!

  14. Kathleen Risa
    Kathleen Risa January 27, 2021

    AKA Quilter’s Knot

    • missa
      missa February 8, 2021

      Lol – I haven’t heard it called that, but it makes sense…. Quilters get all the fun stuff. ;)

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