How to Thread a Needle and Tie a Knot

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One of the first steps in hand sewing is threading the needle. This method, handed down through generations, takes a little bit of patience and practice, but before you know it you will be tying a knot with your eyes closed. Depending on your project, you may need a single strand of thread or a double. When sewing with a single strand, knot only one end of the thread. For a double strand, knot both ends together. Use a single strand for sewing hems, embroidering, or quilting. Use a double strand for sewing seams, snaps, or buttons.

How to Thread a Needle and Tie a Knot
(Amelia Strader)

Things You'll Need

  • Thread
  • Sharp scissors
  • Sewing needle
Step 1

Pick appropriate sewing notions for your project -- for example, a "between" needle and quilting thread for hand quilting or six-strand floss and a large-eye needle for embroidery. Please see the last slide for an itemized list of tools and materials.

Things You'll Need
Amelia Strader
Step 2

Cut a length of thread about 18 inches for a single strand or about 36 inches for a double. Longer pieces may seem more convenient, but they tend to tangle while you’re sewing.

Cut a length of thread.
Amelia Strader
Step 3

Wet one end of the thread with your mouth to create a crisp point. With one hand holding the needle and the other holding the thread, slowly insert the thread through the eye of the needle.

Thread the needle.
Amelia Strader
Step 4

For a single strand, pull about 6 inches of thread through the eye. For a double strand, line up the ends.

Line up thread ends.
Amelia Strader
Step 5

Wrap the thread once around the tip of your index finger and hold in place with your thumb.

Make a loop.
Amelia Strader
Step 6

Twist the thread forward between your index finger and your thumb.

Twist the thread.
Amelia Strader
Step 7

Slide the thread off your index finger, forming a loop.

Tighten the loop.
Amelia Strader
Step 8

Hold the loop loosely between your index finger and your thumb while holding the thread tightly with your other hand. Pull down with your index finger and thumb to tighten the loop and form a knot.

Close the thread loop.
Amelia Strader
Step 9

Trim the ends if necessary.

Trim the ends.
Amelia Strader

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