Avoiding Knots

When starting a seam, rather than making a knot burrow the tail between the layers of fabric and then sew two back stitches in the same place.

At the end of the seam do the same thing: two back stitches in the same places, and hiding the tail of thread.

Waxing Thread

After cutting a length of natural fiber (cotton, linen, silk) thread for handsewing, pass it 1–3 times on a small block of wax before threading the needle: it will make the thread stronger and easier to detangle.

Artisanal, honey-smelling wax from a local beekeeper is good for your mood, but in a pinch a paraffin wax candle will do.

Before doing so on delicate fabric, you may want to do a test on a scrap piece or in an hidden place to check that it won’t cause discoloration, but in my experience it’s pretty rare.