Double Starting Knot

Knot (icon)

The Double Starting Knot holds tighter, which is great when tying slippery shoelaces or when learning new knots – especially for kids. Begin as for a regular Starting Knot, then wrap around for a second time.

Step 1:

Cross ends, left (blue) over right

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

Step 2:

Wrap right (blue) end around back

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.

Step 3:

Feed right (blue) end through gap

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

Step 4:

First stage completed

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

Step 5:

Again, wrap right end around back

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

Step 6:

Again, feed right end through gap

Having now completed the second wrap and feed-through, continue pulling on both ends of the laces.

Step 7:

Pull tight to complete the knot

The completed Double Starting Knot after the ends have been pulled tight.


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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 surgical 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 regular 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 regular Starting Knot once the knot that is being learned has been mastered.

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This page last updated: 24-Jan-2024. Copyright © 2004-2024 by Ian W. Fieggen. All rights reserved.

Website created by Ian Fieggen (aka. “Professor Shoelace”), inventor of the Ian Knot.

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