How To Tie An Embroidery Needle: A Step-By-Step Guide

If you enjoy embroidery, you likely go through embroidery needles frequently. Knowing how to properly tie off and secure your thread to your needle is an essential skill for any embroiderer. While there are a few techniques for accomplishing this task, the most secure method is a double wrap technique that ensures your thread stays attached to your needle while you work.

In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn a tried and true technique for tying embroidery floss to a needle in a way that keeps your stitches secure and avoids unwanted unraveling or detachment while you work on your embroidery project.

What You’ll Need

Embroidery needle

To tie an embroidery needle, you’ll obviously need an embroidery needle itself. These needles are specifically designed for embroidery work, with a sharp point and a large eye to accommodate embroidery floss or thread. You can easily find embroidery needles at craft stores or online.

Make sure to choose the right size needle for your project, as different sizes are suitable for different types of embroidery stitches.

Embroidery floss

Embroidery floss is the thread that you will be using to create your embroidered design. It comes in a wide variety of colors and is typically made of six strands that can be separated for finer work. You can find embroidery floss in craft stores or online.

It’s a good idea to have a few different colors on hand so you can experiment and create beautiful designs.


Scissors are an essential tool for any embroidery project. You’ll need them to cut the embroidery floss and trim any excess threads. It’s important to have a sharp pair of scissors that are specifically designated for embroidery or crafting purposes.

This will ensure clean and precise cuts, allowing your embroidery work to look neat and professional.

Threading the Embroidery Needle

Cut an arm’s length of embroidery floss

To begin threading an embroidery needle, the first step is to cut an arm’s length of embroidery floss. This length of floss is typically around 18-20 inches. Cutting a longer length ensures that you have enough floss to complete your embroidery project without having to thread the needle multiple times.

It’s always better to have a little extra floss than to run out in the middle of your project!

Insert floss through eye of needle

Once you have your desired length of embroidery floss, the next step is to insert it through the eye of the needle. This can sometimes be a bit tricky, especially if the eye of the needle is small. One helpful tip is to wet the end of the floss slightly to make it easier to thread through the needle.

Alternatively, you can use a needle threader to assist you in threading the needle.

It’s important to note that there are different types of embroidery needles available, each with its own size and eye shape. For example, tapestry needles have a larger eye, making them suitable for thicker threads or yarns, while sharps needles have a smaller eye and are better for finer threads.

Be sure to choose the right needle for your project to ensure smooth and easy threading.

For more detailed instructions on threading an embroidery needle, you can visit The Spruce Crafts. They provide step-by-step visual guides that can help you master the threading process with ease.

Tying the Knot

Leave a 2-3 inch tail of floss

Before you begin tying an embroidery needle, it is important to leave a 2-3 inch tail of embroidery floss. This will give you enough length to securely tie the knot without it coming undone. Having a longer tail also allows for easier maneuvering of the needle while embroidering.

Wrap floss around needle 2 times

The next step in tying an embroidery needle is to wrap the embroidery floss around the needle two times. This will create a loop that will be used to form the knot. Make sure the loops are tight and close to the eye of the needle for a secure knot.

Tie a secure double knot

To tie a secure double knot, take the end of the embroidery floss and pass it through the loop created by the two wraps around the needle. Pull the ends of the floss tightly to form the knot. Repeat this step to create a double knot, ensuring that it is tightly secured.

Trim excess tails

After tying the knot, it is important to trim any excess tails of embroidery floss. This will prevent the knot from becoming bulky and getting in the way while you are embroidering. Use a sharp pair of embroidery scissors to carefully trim the tails close to the knot, making sure not to cut the knot itself.

Remember, practice makes perfect when it comes to tying an embroidery needle. Don’t get discouraged if your knots aren’t perfect at first – with time and practice, you’ll become a pro at tying the perfect knot for your embroidery projects!

Stitching with the Embroidery Needle

Embroidery is a beautiful craft that allows you to create intricate designs on fabric. One of the key tools you’ll need for embroidery is the embroidery needle. Knowing how to properly tie the needle is essential to ensure your stitches are secure and your embroidery work is of high quality.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to tie an embroidery needle:

1. Insert needle through fabric from underside

To begin, thread your embroidery floss through the eye of the needle. Then, hold the fabric you’ll be stitching on with one hand and insert the needle from the underside of the fabric. Make sure to position the needle where you want your first stitch to start.

2. Pull floss all the way through

Once the needle is inserted through the fabric, gently pull the floss all the way through until the knot at the end of the floss reaches the fabric. This will secure the floss in place and prevent it from slipping out as you stitch.

3. Continue stitching as desired

With the floss securely tied to the fabric, you can now begin stitching. There are various embroidery stitches you can use to create different designs and patterns. Whether you’re using backstitch, satin stitch, or any other stitch, make sure to pull the needle and floss through the fabric smoothly and evenly.

4. Re-tie floss when needed

As you stitch, you may find that the floss becomes shorter or starts to loosen. When this happens, it’s important to re-tie the floss to secure it again. To do this, simply follow the same process of inserting the needle through the fabric from the underside and pulling the floss all the way through.

Remember, practice makes perfect when it comes to embroidery. Don’t be discouraged if your stitches aren’t perfect right away. With time and patience, you’ll develop your skills and create beautiful embroidered pieces.

Unthreading and Removing Excess Floss

When finishing your embroidery project, it is important to properly unthread and remove any excess floss. This will ensure that your work looks clean and professional. Here are some steps to follow:

Trim excess floss close to fabric when finishing

Once you have completed your stitching, take a pair of sharp scissors and carefully trim the excess floss close to the fabric. Be sure to leave a small tail of about 1 inch to prevent the thread from unraveling. This will give your work a neat and tidy appearance.

Gently pull to remove remaining floss

After trimming the excess floss, gently pull on the remaining thread to remove it from the fabric. Take your time and be careful not to pull too hard, as this can damage your stitches. If you encounter any resistance, try using a needle or a pair of tweezers to gently loosen the floss before pulling it out completely.

Rethread needle as needed for new project

If you are starting a new embroidery project, you will need to rethread your needle with fresh floss. Choose a color that complements your design and cut a length of floss that is appropriate for your project. Thread the needle, making sure to leave a small tail at the end.

You are now ready to begin your next stitching adventure!

For more tips and tricks on embroidery techniques, you can visit The Spruce Crafts. They offer a wide range of resources and tutorials to help you master the art of embroidery.


Tying embroidery floss onto your needle with a secure double knot is a simple but essential technique for embroidery. With the right supplies on hand and these step-by-step instructions, you’ll be able to keep your floss threaded neatly and avoid unnecessary unraveling or rethreading.

Embroider confidently knowing your stitches will stay tidy and your thread wrapped tight. Happy stitching!

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