Slip Knot


This extremely quick-to-form and easy-to-use knot is popular because of its capability for self-tightening and rapid release. A slipknot is easily made using a straight length of material ranging from lightweight string to heavy-duty rope.

In the early days of the American frontier, the slipknot became a useful way to restrain a wayward animal such as a steer or dog. Due to the fact the slipknot self-tightens quickly, this knot became used as a noose for hanging criminals. Today, in countries where death by hanging is still deemed to be an acceptable legal procedure, the slipknot/noose is used.


In the medical world, the slipknot is used to expose veins during insertion of IV lines or to draw blood for testing purposes. Some dermatologists use a slipknot formed with dental floss to remove small non-cancerous tumors or knots on the epidermal layer of the skin. Upon completion of slipknot formation, the string is cut. As the slipknot interrupts circulation of blood to the area, the tumor will drop off after about 24 hours. In First Aid, the tourniquet used to slow or stop wound bleeding is formed using the slipknot technique.

How to Tie a Slip Knot

  1. Using a length of tying material ranging from six to 12 inches, grasp the opposing ends in each hand.
  2. Create a loop by crossing one end over the other end.
  3. Grasp the cross-point of the loop firmly between the thumb and fingers.
  4. Pass the opposite hand through the loop. As this end is pulled through the original loop, a second loop will be created.
  5. Move the hands in opposite directions while twisting the loop in a tightening motion.