The Correct Way to Tie a Single Loop Drawstring

Whether in gym class or team uniforms, we have all seen these type of drawstrings.

If your like me, then you know the frustration that can arise.

Some of my favorite sweats have had these types of drawstrings and for the most part they are all ruined.

I have even had to cut the tight knots because you can't pull them apart with your fingers.

What if I told you there was a correct way to tie a continuous loop drawstring?

I am sure there are multiple angles to attack this. But below is the best and quickest method that I have found.

It almost seems like this is something that should be taught in elementary school. Gotta keep your shorts up!

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Some of the steps can be confusing with pictures alone.

Below, I broke down each step with greater detail.

Steps 1 & 2

Start with the full loop pulled out in front of you (away from your body).

Next, grab the middle of both sides and pull simultaneously apart and towards your body. Keep it close to your waistband.

Steps 3 & 4

Once you have two separate loops, cross right over left.

Fold the underneath loop up and in between the outside gap of the top loop.

*This gap is can also be seen as the gap closest to your body.

Steps 5 & 6

You will notice there are two separate gaps that you can go through.

Make sure you only go through the outside gap. This is key to making the knot work.

Once you get it through the correct gap, pull both ends. This creates the base knot. This is also the the time to adjust how tight you want the drawstring.

Steps 7 & 8

Once tight, snake the left loop up and over itself.

Once snaked, grab the right loop and wrap completely around the snaked left loop.

Steps 9 & 10 & 11

After you wrap the right around left, reach through the gap (with pointer finger and thumb) above the base knot.

Grab the middle portion of wrapped right loop and pull through gap.

When pulling through, make sure that the ends do not get pulled through. If they do, the knot will not work.

You can adjust the knot to make it tight by holding onto the 3 loops on both sides and pulling tight.


Above, is what the final knot looks like (if done correctly).

There should be 3 completed loops on both sides.

Below is a video of me walking through the knot. I based this knot off another video I saw on YouTube. Their directions were not as easy to follow. So I created my own. But both videos end with the same result. Enjoy!

Final Tricks

If you do not want to learn how to tie the above knot. That is OK.

There is another method that works.

Pull out the drawstring, take a pair of scissors and cut directly in half.

If you decide to do this, please tie a knot at the end of each half. Spending your days fishing out a drawstring is less than ideal! You can thank me later.

The reason I wrote this random post is because a lot of sweat shorts have these type of drawstrings. And if you don't know what sweat shorts are? Do your legs a favor, and start here.

Shout out to the knot legend Ian. He is a boss. And his detailed knots gave me inspiration to create this post. Thanks man!

Stay Comfortable. Stay Awesome.

Michael Lamb

I discovered sweat shorts about 10 years ago. I fell in love with them, and I am glad I did.