matthew walker knot

How to tie a Matthew Walker knot

Today is the day we take a look at the beautiful Mathew walker knot.

“The Matthew Walker” is a knot with many benefits. It can work as a stopper knot, but I think it serves better as a decorative knot, since the lanyard knot does quite a good job at it already (it is bigger, making it better at stopping cord from passing through loops). The use for a Matthew Walker as a stopper knot comes in handy in situations where you have more cords than two to deal with!

The major benefits of the Matthew Walker resemble those of the wall knot, which is a close cousin, if not brother to the knot.

The Walker knot benefits:

  • highly decorative
  • can work with any number of cords/strands
  • can be used to keep a knot from fraying

Why the name?

Many stories circle around the question about who was the person after the knot is named for. Some say he was a sailor in the navy, but what caught my attention is the story behind the creation of the knot. It was supposedly created by a sailor who was given the challenge of creating a knot or going to jail, from a judge who was also a fellow sailor back in his days. The sailor got the challenge of creating a stopper knot that the judge could not tie.

That is how the knot was born and yay, we can now use it in the beautiful world of knot work! And there was much rejoicing.

Classifying Matthew Walker knots

There are basically two attributes we use to classify the Walker knots:

  • the number of strands/cords- for example a two strand, five strand, ten strand Matthew Walker
  • the number of follow ups or wraps that the Walker knot makes- for example a (single) Matthew walker, a double Matthew Walker. When it comes to classifying this attribute, some like to refer to any longer MW knot as an extended MW knot.
In the case of the knot at the start of the article, that is a six strand, double MW knot.
I have found a video series that perfectly explains the types of MW knots, which you can view below:

 How to tie a Matthew Walker knot

There are different ways of making the knot, depending on the type. I think that the double Matthew Walker knot tied with multiple strands is the best way of using the knot. Below you can find tutorials on the various types.

In order of appearance, you can find the instructions for the following knots below:

  • Multiple strand double Matthew Walker knot (in my opinion the most useful!)
  • Two strand MW knot
  • Two strand extended MW knot, as shown by David Hopper
  • Three strand MW knot

The multiple strand MW knot

The knot is made by twisting a loop,  wrapping the cord around the other cords and inserting the end through the loop formed. The next cord goes through the loop of the previously made one, follows the previous cord through the top and finishes in the same color loop. After all the strands/cords are made this way, we tighten the cords in the order me made the loops in. Some cord adjustment will be needed to make the knot look as it should. The most important part is the tightening process!

double matthew walker knot instructions

The process of tying this knot is also covered in depth by Kevin Cagne in his video tutorial:

Two strand MW knot

The simplest MW knot to tie (next to the single strand version).

two strand matthew walker knot instructions

The video tutorial:

Two strand extended MW knot

Shown by David Hopper, this method is a neat way of extending the MW knot.
2 strand extended matthew walker knot
A video tutorial on the knot is also available:

Three strand MW knot

The three strand version is made with the help of the wall knot.

three strand matthew walker instructions
This version also has a video tutorial available by the one and only Dman:

About Markwell

I am a defense science graduate. I like to create beautiful things out of paracord.


  1. Absolutly good eg on a multi-strand rope, your are going to the right in the same way than the rope is made. I learned it loop by loop (Made 1st loop turn go in, made second loop turn and pass through both of loops, etc.).
    Best regards
    Capt Patrick
    Bretagne, France.

  2. Hola:
    Excelente presentación, muy didáctica y fácil de entender.

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