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In order to mend a hole in your clothes or sew a button back on, you need to know how to thread a needle and tie a knot. Here’s how to do it quickly and easily!
Your sock feels weird, and you notice a big hole on the bottom of it. Or maybe you snag your shirt and tear a hole in it.
It’s only a matter of time before you find yourself with a hole that needs mending or a button that needs sewing back on.
So how do you do it?
How do you put thread in a needle; how do you thread a needle for hand sewing?
Whether you’ve been mending clothes all your life or you’ve never touched a needle and thread before, this quick and simple guide will show you exactly how to put thread in a needle easily, and get you sewing by hand!
Let’s get started.
How to Thread a Needle and Tie a Knot for Hand-Sewing
Step 1. Gather Supplies
- Thread (or other string)
- Needle Threader
(In our example here, we are using a large blunt-tipped needle and yarn, to make it extra easy to demonstrate.)
The Different Parts of a Needle
NOTE: A note on the anatomy of a needle – the hole in a needle is called an “eye.”
Some needles have small eyes and some have bigger eyes.
It’s obviously easier to thread a needle that has a larger eye because there’s a bigger space for the thread to pass through.
Step 2. Cut the end of the thread (or yarn in our case) so it has a clean edge, and no fraying ends.
This will make it easier to pass through the eye of the needle.
Step 3. Hold string close to the end for stability.
If you hold the string too far from the end, it will be too floppy and nearly impossible to get through the eye of the needle.
You want to hold it so close to the end of the string that you almost can’t see it in your fingers.
Step 4. Bring the needle to the string and push the string through the eye of the needle.
Carefully grab the thread and pull it through the eye.
Step 5. Pull the string through the needle.
Determine if you are going to be tying the thread off so you have a single thread strand or a double thread strand.
Step 6. Cut the end of the string, and tie a simple knot on one end.
You now have a single thread strand, ready for hand sewing!
Step 7. If you want to have a Double Thread Strand, pull the thread all the way through until the two tails are even, and knot them together.
Your double thread strand is ready to be used!
Double thread strands are more durable because there’s twice the thread strength, and they don’t slip out of the hole of the needle accidentally, while you’re sewing.
But it can get a little messy having two strands of thread while you’re trying to sew.
– – – – –
Let’s look at the process again, this time seeing how to thread a needle with a needle threader.
How to Thread a Needle with a Needle Threader
Step 1. Gather Supplies
- Needle Threader
Step 2. Cut the thread to clean up the edge.
Step 3. Insert a needle threader through the eye of the needle.
Step 4. Hold the thread close to the edge, and pass the thread through the end of the needle threader.
Step 5. Carefully pull the needle threader out of the eye of the needle, HOLDING TIGHT to the threader so it doesn’t pull apart.
I have ruined MANY needle threaders by not holding the wire in place, as I’m pulling the needle threader back out of the needle.
Sometimes, the thread and needle threader can get stuck a little and require a little force to get it through the eye. If you’re not holding tightly to where the wire loop meets the base of the needle threader, it will pull loose.
So make sure you hold tightly where the wire meets the metal base of the threader, and then pull it out of the eye of the needle.
Step 6. Determine if you want a single or double thread strand.
Step 7. Knot the thread either at one end for a single thread, or knot the two tails together for a double thread strand.
You are now ready to put that needle and thread to use!
Sewing by hand is a bit of a lost art.
What was once a necessity has been replaced by an overall attitude of “throw it away and buy a new one.”
But the upcycling clothes trend, as well as an awareness of the impact of fast fashion on the environment, are bringing back the desire to mend clothes rather than throw them out.
Hand sewing is the best means of fixing holes in clothes, or sewing on a button that fell off.
By knowing how to thread a needle and tie a knot, you have the ability to fix any ripped, torn, or damaged piece of clothing, and actually… you even have the ability to create clothing of your own!
(Though using a sewing machine is definitely faster if you’re sewing a new outfit, haha!)