Three groups of knots were examined using six no. 1 (metric 4) suture materials to identify the most effective and efficient knotting techniques. The three groups were the square or reef knot, the surgeon's knot and a double throw knot. Sequential single additional throws were added to these in order to determine when the strength of the knot reached the breaking force of the material, thus nullifying the need for additional throws. This strength was reached in all cases by a maximum of two additional throws. Suture materials examined were the non-absorbable monofilaments nylon and polypropylene, the absorbable monofilaments polyglyconate and polydioxanone and the braided materials polyglactin and polyglycolic acid, both coated. These were examined for their knot-holding capacity and breaking force to determine the best materials, which were polypropylene, polyglyconate and polyglycolic acid.