Threading Needles and Knotting Thread

Introduction: Threading Needles and Knotting Thread

About: I'm a community manager here at instructables! I turn into a stitch witch at night. You can find me on Instagram @jessyratfink and Twitter at @makingjiggy ^_^

In hand sewing, there are two ways to thread a needle - double threaded and single threaded. In this lesson, I'll teach you both ways to thread a needle and when you should use each of these methods.

I'll also share some tips and tricks for threading the needle. Sometimes that can be a little tricky!

In addition to learning about threading needles, I'll teach you a fast and easy way to make a knot for sewing.

Step 1: Tips for Getting the Thread Through the Needle

Always cut your thread with sharp scissors

The more blunt and messed up the cut end of the thread is, the harder it will be to push it through the eye.

Try a needle threader

The most classic of all threading tools! These come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and they're crazy cheap. If you have a rough time with threading, do yourself a favor and pick a couple of these up. :D

Hairspray / Beeswax / Saliva

Sometimes thread is just floppy and difficult. If you find this to be the case, you'll want to use something to stiffen it. You can spray it with hairspray, rub it over a piece of beeswax or just stick it in your mouth.

Push the eye of the needle over the thread

It's natural to want to push the thread through the eye, but sometimes it works best if you do the opposite. Flatten the thread end and pinch it tightly between two fingers, leaving about 1/4 inch sticking out. With your other hand, guide the eye of the needle over the thread end.

Step 2: The Easiest Ever Hand Sewing Knot

Knotting thread can be frustrating! It's important for the knot to be larger than the weave of the fabric so you don't pull the knot through. Chances are you'll want to knot multiple times, which can be tricky.

Important: this knot only works with regular thread or a couple strands of embroidery floss - when you're using the full six strands of embroidery floss it tends to separate and make a mess instead of knotting. ;)

Form a large loop like you would for a normal knot.

Where the thread crosses, pinch with your thumb and forefinger. Move your thumb over your forefinger to the right, rolling the loop and tail end of the thread along with it.

How the thread should look if you rolled it correctly!

Use your fingers to position the knot and pull it tight.

Trim the thread ends and ta-daaaaaa. A perfectly sized knot in seconds!

Here's a GIF of the action in case the photos weren't entirely clear!

And there you go! Give this knot a try - I know you'll love it. :D

Step 3: The Single Threaded Needle

Single threading a needle is perfect for when you're doing delicate work that needs to be pretty dang invisible. I use this often to slip stitch and hem thin fabric.

This is also how you'll thread a needle for any embroidery or decorative sewing work.

Cut a length of thread that's the same length as the space between your palm and elbow. Push one end of the thread through the eye of the needle and pull it through so you have a tail that's 3-5 inches long. (You can sew using a shorter tail once you get used to it, but it's best to keep it long at first.)

Knot the opposite end of the thread and trim off the excess.

Step 4: The Double Threaded Needle

This is how I do 90% of my sewing. You can use it in every situation except for embroidery and decorative sewing. A double threaded needle results in strong seams and it's easier to sew with a double threaded needle, too.

Cut a piece of thread double the length of your palm to your elbow. Thread the needle onto one end of the thread and then bring the ends of the thread together. Let the needle hang while you line up and then knot the ends of the thread together using the knot I taught you.

Trim off the excess thread and hold everything up by the knot to center the needle. Now you are ready to sew!

Tying the ends together locks the needle inside, so you won't have to worry about letting the thread slip out of the eye. :D

In the next lesson, I'm going to show you a few ways to tie off when you're finished sewing.

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