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How to Start Your Embroidery Without Knots – video

How to Embroider with No Knots - a video tutorial from Shiny Happy World

I always start my stitching with a knot (video here) and end it without one (video here). I do this because it’s easy and I love easy. And I really don’t care what the back of my work looks like – I actually kind of like seeing the knots and tails.

But some of you like the back of your work to look as nice as the front – especially when you’re stitching tea towels and napkins and hankies and other things where folks will see the back. And you’ve been asking me to show you how to do that. Your wish is my command! Here’s your video. 🙂

This is not as easy as simply tying a knot. You have to flip your stitching over to watch what you’re doing from the back a whole three or four times. Maybe I should start all my stitching this way from now on? Naaaaah. I really like tying my knots. 🙂

That tea towel I’m working on in the video is my It’s a Dirty Job embroidery pattern about doing the dishes. 🙂

Here are all my posts about knots.

Before you knot that thread you need to know how much to use, so here’s one more post that doesn’t really have a better place to live. 🙂 How Many Strands of Thread Should I Use?

Return to the Learn to Embroider main Table of Contents.

Move on to the lessons for the four most basic embroidery stitches.


  1. Great trick. I use an away waste knot, which ends up the same, but this trick is easier and cleaner, I think.

  2. Jeff B SAYS...


    THANKS SO MUCH for this video! I have just spent an hour looking at embroidery websites to find out how to start a project without a knot.

    I am brand new to embroidery and have a really hard time following written instructions and photos. But, finally, I found your video, which completely explains how to do this! I was able to follow it and understand it (I’m pretty dense when it comes to this stuff).

    Thanks again! I’m going to bookmark your blog now and look around to see what other wonderful information you have!

  3. Mary A. SAYS...

    This is basically how I was taught but now I am starting to embroider on t-shirts and onesies. Will this method hold going through the laundry? Trying to be sure that the back is fairly neat, comfortable, and will wash well without coming undone. Thank you!

    • I’ve used this method on tea towels and T-shirts (all of which were washed many MANY times) with no problems.

  4. Mary A. SAYS...

    Hi thank you for this . Question – will this type of starting/finishing hold up when washed? I am embroidering on t-shirts and onesies, using the stabilizer of course, and I would like the back to be fairly neat, comfortable and not come undone in the laundry. Thanks!

    • This method holds up very well in the wash. I’ve used on on tea towels and on T-shirts and both have had no problems.

      • Mary A. SAYS...

        Thanks! Sorry for repeated question – I didn’t think it went through the first time 🙂