A sliding knot is a cool technique to add to your basket of goodies, especially if you like to work with leather or satin cord.
A leather sliding knot gives your creation an exotic, bohemian flair, while the satin sliding knot is super sweet and delicate. You can hit both ends of the fashion spectrum with just one simple knot!
Okay, maybe not that simple.
So, how do you make a sliding knot with just one string? There are two ways, actually. You can make a two-knot design or just a one-knot design. A single sliding knot gives a slightly tidier look than the two sliding knots.
Tying a sliding knot with just one string can be a little tricky at first, but the good news is that you can master this technique in no time! If you are like most people, your first attempt will look quite wonky. But that’s okay. You’ll get better with practice.
How To Tie A Sliding Knot With One String
A sliding knot is ideal for beach jewelry, friendship bracelets, anklets, and other more laid-back relaxed designs. The best part of the sliding knot is that it makes all of your designs adjustable!
Whether it’s a bracelet, necklace or anklet, you can adjust it to fit any way you like. Want a long dangling necklace to compliment your plunging neckline? No problem! Want a snug choker to accentuate your sensual neck? Okay! How about something in between? Yes! You can do that too!
So many looks with just one necklace. Imagine what you could do with several pieces of sliding knot jewelry! You can layer a few leather necklaces or bracelets or even create a very unique look with a combination of satin and leather.
How to Tie a Single Sliding Knot with One String
Let’s start with the one-knot design. With the one knot design, the knot can easily be hidden.
The sliding knot works well with leather, suede, kumihono, macrame cords, embroidery floss, waxed cotton and any other materials that are pliable enough to wrap and tie. Other threads are great for this type of knot too, but leather and satin seem to make it so much more unique.
This is what you do:
- Cut the length of cord you need for your project. For example, for an 18” necklace or 10” bracelet, you will need at least 18” or 10” for the main body, plus 4” for the knot. Add a bit extra to make sure the finished length will be long enough. You can trim this off at the end when the project is finished.
- Cross the ends of the cord to make a loop. The left side of the cord will be in front of the right side of the cord.
- Wrap the left side of the cord around the right side of the cord.
- Loosely wrap it around the right side again, making one complete loop.
- Continue to wrap the left end around the right end. Remember to keep the loops loose while wrapping. In all, you should have three loops around the right side.
- After the third loop, take the end and move it to the first loop.
- Thread this end through all of the loops and out the other end of the row of loops.
- Pull the knot tight by pulling on the ends of the cord.
- The loops should now be perfectly aligned and the sliding knot should be nice and tight.
- To adjust the length, you can easily loosen the knot by pulling on one of the ends.
- Trim off any excess cord, leaving enough to adjust the knot when needed.
Remember, if you are adding a pendant or other charms or beads to your jewelry, put them on before you tie the knot.
Sliding knots can easily be undone, but they are a lot of work, so why undo them if you don’t have to? It’s better to put the beads or decorations you want on your jewelry before tying the knot.
This video by JewelryTutorialHQ on YouTube is an excellent tutorial on how to make single sliding knots!
How to Tie a Double Sliding Knot With One String
The double sliding knot is more complicated. It is also more popular because it’s more secure.
With the two knot design, the knots are clearly visible, which is part of its charm.
Since you are making two knots, you will need much more cord – at least four more inches than if you were making a single sliding knot.
If you are putting on a pendant, charms or beads, make sure you put them on before you start making your knots. The necklace or bracelet will be one continuous circle with no openings.
The knots slide wider and narrower to allow you to put it on and take it off or to adjust the length for different looks. There is no clasp, just one completely closed circle.
A popular length for a necklace like this is about 24 inches (60 cm), so we will use that as a base point – our point of reference.
This necklace will be adjustable from about 12 inches to 24 inches. Naturally, if you want the finished necklace to be longer or shorter than that, you just add or subtract a few inches to your cord.
Keep in mind, if you are adding beads or charms and plan to wear your necklace at the shortest length – 12 inches – then don’t string beads on more than 12 inches of the cord.
Of course, this will create quite unique look that you might not like. You may have to research or play around with a few different designs before you find one that suits your taste.
But before you cut the cord, make sure to add enough length for both of the knots and a little extra to make it easier to work with.
Follow these steps:
- Measure 24 inches of cord and then add 8 inches (20.5 cm) for the sliding knots.
- It takes about 4 inches of cord for each knot, so you need 8 inches for two knots. Then add a little extra for the working room – about 2 or 3 inches should do just fine.
- If you want to attach your pendant with a lark’s head knot, you will need about 2 more inches of cord. The lark’s head knot uses about 2 inches.
- The total length of your cord should be about 34 inches (86 cm) – without factoring in the lark’s head knot.
- Cut the cord at that length and string on any beads or charms you want to add.
Tying the first knot:
- Fold the cord in half and make a loop by crossing the ends of the cord. The working end will be over top of the base end. The working end needs to be longer than the base end. You can adjust this later, so don’t worry too much about it now.
- Wrap the working end of the cord around the base.
- Continue wrapping the working end around the base until you have three to five complete loops. The number of loops determines the look and feel of the knot. The thicker your cord, the fewer loops you will want because the knot will get too bulky.
- Remember to keep the loops loose while wrapping. After the last loop, pull the working end over to the beginning of the row of loops.
- Thread the end all the way through the loops to the other end.
- Adjust and align your loops. They should look like a tightly wound spring.
- Pull the knot tight by pulling on both ends of the cord.
- The loops should now be perfectly aligned and the sliding knot should be nice and tight. You can adjust the size of the necklace by sliding the knot. But first, let’s make the second knot.
- Repeat steps 2 to 6 on the other side of the necklace. You might find that both knots don’t look exactly the same. If this happens, undo the wonky parts and try again. Getting both knots just right takes a bit of practice.
- Tighten up both knots and trim off any excess cord. Don’t trim too close to the knot itself. You want a little playing room for adjustments or more tightening.
- You can finish it off by gluing a bead on the end or just leave the cord as it is.
- If you used cord that might fray, it’s a good idea to put a dab of glue on the end to hold the fabric together.
Your necklace or bracelet with sliding knots is now finished. Pull the knots out or in to adjust the length. Whenever the knots feel a bit loose, just pull on the ends to tighten.
If you want to learn MORE ways to tie a secure knot for a bracelet, check out this article.