How to Tie a Surgeon's Knot

  • 01 of 04

    Surgeon's Knot

    Surgeon's Knot
    A surgeon's knot is a square knot with an extra loop on the first pass through. Lisa Yang

    A surgeon's knot is a type of knot used to secure suture threads during surgical procedures. Surgeon's knots are one of several different types of knots that are useful for making jewelry and working with beads.


    The surgeon's knot is similar to a square knot, but it has an extra pass through on the first half of the knot. This makes the cords less likely to slip both while you are tying the knot and once the knot is complete. 


    Surgeon's knots are a good knot to use with elastic cord. The extra...MORE pass through at the base will help to keep the knot in place while you are tying the second half of the knot. It also makes the knot less likely to untie.  


    Surgeon's knots also work well with beading thread such as Nymo or FireLine.  They can be used to add thread to a component like in these brick stitched bead wheel earrings.  A surgeon's knot can also be used on the thread end to make a bulkier knot that resists slipping through the beading foundation when doing bead embroidery.


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  • 02 of 04

    Starting the Surgeon's Knot

    Surgeon's Knot Tutorial
    Make the first part of a square knot. Lisa Yang

    A surgeon's knot begins the same way as a square knot. It can be tied with any type of beading thread or jewelry making cord. It is commonly used with different types of elastic cord.


    Cross the cord on the left over the cord on the right. Then wrap the cord on the right side over the cord in your left hand and bring it back up through the middle.


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  • 03 of 04

    Make the Second Loop for the Surgeon's Knot

    Surgeon's Knot Tutorial
    Wrap the cord around twice to start a surgeon's knot. Lisa Yang

    The surgeon's knot has one additional pass through on the first half of the knot. While still holding the cord from the last step, pass it over and around the other cord one more time. You have made a total of two wraps around the cord.


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  • 04 of 04

    Finish the Surgeon's Knot

    Surgeon's Knot
    A surgeon's knot is a square knot with an extra loop on the first pass through. Lisa Yang

    Finish the surgeon's knot by bringing the right side of the cord over the top of the left and then wrapping it around and through the middle of the knot. Pull on each side of the cord to secure the base of the knot. 


    Depending on the beadwork stitch being used, a surgeon's knot may be used to join two ends of beading thread together, such as when tying off the threads or adding a new thread.  Using it in this way would depend on having enough room between the beads to add the knot.


    Surgeon's...MORE knots are not decorative. It is best to use them when you can hide the knot inside of the beadwork or inside of a bead. The surgeon's knot is slightly larger than other knots used in beadwork, so be sure you can pull it inside the hole of the beads you are working with.


    Now that you know how to make a surgeon's knot, follow these tips to make better elastic bead bracelets.


    Edited by Lisa Yang