How to Hide your Thread Ends {Quick Sewing Tip}


Hand sewing seems to be one of those ‘love it or hate it’ activities. I used to hate it until I got better at it and learned a few tricks. I hesitate to admit that this trick for hiding thread ends is something I learned way too late. Now that my hand sewing looks invisible, I love it.

You can use this method when sewing down quilt binding (like I was doing in these pictures) or when closing up the opening in a pillow or bag lining. I’ve even found it handy in garment sewing from time to time.  And you can use this technique when doing hand embroidery on pillows or softies.

Tie a knot about 1/2” from the end of your thread. I’m using a double length of thread here, but this works if you are sewing with a single thread too.

Insert the needle about 1/2” away and come up where you want to start sewing.

Pull until the knot touches the fabric. Wrap some thread around your finger to get a firm grip and gently tug until you hear a ‘pop’ and the knot goes under. 

If you still see thread ends, gently tug until they go under or clip them off. Rub the spot with your thumb until you can’t see anything.

Perfect start to your sewing! Now for the finish:

Stop when you have about 4” of thread left. Tie a pretzel shaped knot in the thread and use your thumb or the tip of your needle to push it down as far as you can – 1/4” away from the fabric or closer. (If you are doing embroidery, don’t put your knot right next to the fabric – leave enough thread for the last stitch.)

Insert the needle close to your last stitch (or take your last stitch if you are doing embroidery) and come up about 1/2” away.

Again pull the thread through and gently tug until you feel or hear the knot pop under.

Cut the thread close to the fabric and rub it with your thumb until the ends disappear under the surface. No thread ends!

Do you have more hand sewing tips to share? Put them in the comments!

Happy sewing!

Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂

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  1. Use a thread conditioner like thread heaven. It keeps thread from getting tangled.

  2. This is more or less the way hand quilting has been started and finished for centuries. I was always taught not to use knots when hand sewing – they were very frowned upon way back in the 1970’s. We had to put the needle in so the tail disappeared into the wrong side of whatever we were making – a bit like your disappearing knot but without the knot! – then do a double stitch to start – and it was the same to finish do a double stitch and then feed the tail to the wrong side. I still do this when handsewing in preference to a knot whenever I can.

    I guess it’s the same idea as doing a locking stitch at start and end on a sewing machine.

  3. Mea Cadwell says:

    Use a self-threading needle to make it much easier to thread the needle for burying threads on quilts.

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