Sewn books

The Weaver’s Knot, finally

Knots & Threads & Books
Knots & Threads & Books

I am a total rock star when it come to making a weaver’s knot – THE knot that bookbinders need when we need to attach more thread to sew signatures together.

The fact that I am like a grande dame of the weaver’s knot should come as no surprise. I love doing exposed sewn bindings, I’m a great admirer of the beauty of knots.

Oh, yeah, and did I mention that until Susan Joy Share showed me the weaver’s knot this past summer at Penland, it was my dark secret that the weaver’s knot eluded me. No matter how many times I looked through my bookbinding books, no matter how many times I studied those diagrams, I couldn’t wrap my brain around it. It didn’t make sense to me.

Exposed Spine Sewing, with many colors of thread
Exposed Spine Sewing, with many colors of thread

Susan knows the secret sauce of the weaver knot. Now I know it.

This is something I have to show you.

When I think of the knots that I know (which I learned from my days of rockclimbing, backpacking and kayaking – yes, kayakers need knots, primarily to tie their long boats to the tops of their tiny cars) it now occurs to me that people showed me how to make all the knots that I know.

An indulgent aside: when I was about 4 years old I watched Captain Kangaroo, on TV, as he demonstrated how to do the knot that ties shoes. Then I went outside to tell my mother, who was in the garage washing her car, that I knew I how to tie my shoes. She told me I didn’t know how to do it. I told her I did. And I did. And that was that.

Now I get to be Captain Kangeroo.

Weavers Knot Video tutorial. It’s the only way to go. Now, watch for the secret sauce. Make knots, be happy.


9 thoughts on “The Weaver’s Knot, finally

    1. Thank you Ama! I did just a bit of poking around the internet to figure this out, and got as far as some references that implied that the square knot has some issues, but didn’t get much further. I’m really appreciative to have your weaver’s-expertise on this

      Liked by 1 person

  1. A square knot is a binding knot: stable when tying cord around something, or binding. When it’s not around something it can capitalize and turn into a lark’s head knot around a cord and then easily slip. The weavers knot is a bend: a knot for joining two cords together, as such it is stable anywhere, it will never capsize.


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