Double Starting Knot

A double starting knot holds tighter, which is great when tying slippery shoelaces or when learning new knots, especially for kids. Begin as for a standard Starting Knot, then loop around and through for a second time.

Double Starting Knot diagram 1

Step 1:

Cross the left (blue) end over the right (yellow) end. The left (blue) end is now on the right side.

Double Starting Knot diagram 2

Step 2:

Begin to wrap the right (blue) end around the front of the left (yellow) lace to end up at the back of the gap between the laces.

Double Starting Knot diagram 3

Step 3:

Feed the right (blue) end through the gap to emerge at the front right hand side.

Double Starting Knot diagram 4

Step 4:

Up to this stage, the knot formed is identical to the regular Starting Knot except that it hasn't yet been pulled tight.

Double Starting Knot diagram 5

Step 5:

Once again, wrap the right (blue) end around and feed it through the gap between the laces.

Double Starting Knot diagram 6

Step 6:

Having now formed a double overhand knot, continue pulling on both ends of the laces.

Double Starting Knot diagram 7

Step 7:

The completed double starting knot after the ends have been pulled tight.

Technical Details

Surgeon's Knot

The double starting knot is the basis of what is traditionally known as a "Surgeon's Knot". When used to tie sutures, it creates more friction, which stops the sides of a wound from opening up.

The Double Starting Knot will similarly hold the sides of the shoe together more firmly.

Using the Double Starting Knot

The Double Starting Knot is a great knot to use when learning a new knot, especially my own Ian Knot, which is otherwise difficult to keep tight. When teaching a child how to tie their shoelaces, a Double Starting Knot will relieve them of the extra burden of having to hold everything tight while learning all the remaining steps. It's sort of like using "training wheels" to take some of the load.


The downside is that the Double Starting Knot ends up much w-i-d-e-r than a normal starting knot. When the finishing bow is completed, the resultant knot is much more "open", allowing it to come undone more easily. This can be remedied somewhat by pushing the sides of the knot together prior to pulling everything tight, but it's really an awkward solution.

The Double Starting Knot is certainly a valuable aid while learning, but long term I'd suggest reverting to the standard Starting Knot once the knot that is being learned has been mastered.

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