Decorative knots can be used for a variety of purposes. They can actually serve a function to hold or secure objects or they can simply be used for decorative purposes in crafts, jewelry and décor. However, most decorative knots are not designed for strength, they are mainly designed to be aesthetically pleasing.
Some of the better known decorative knots include:
- Australian knot
- Bowen Knot
- Monkey's fist
- Cobra lanyard knot
- Celtic knot
- Diamond knot
- Wall and crown knot
- Matthew Walker's knot
- Double Matthew Walker
- Turk's head
- Sliding splice
- Crown sinnet
- Chain sinnet
- Savoy knot
- Stafford knot
- Wall knot
When learning how to tie knots for any purpose, it helps to know a little about the terminology behind the subject of knot tying. Here are some of the basic terms:
- Dressing a Knot - Arranging the components of a knot to optimize security and strength.
- Loop - Made when a rope forms a partial circle with the ends crossing each other.
- Round Turn - Two passes of the rope around an object, completely encircling it.
- Splice - A knot made using the strands of a rope rather than the whole rope, stronger than ordinary knots and designed to be permanent.
- Turn - One pass of the rope round or through an object.
- Stopper Knot – A knot in the end of a rope used to prevent fraying or prevent the end from passing through a hole.
Decorative knot tying is a form of folk art that the Chinese have been doing for thousands of years. Most Chinese knots are lanyard style where two cords enter from the top of the knot and two cords leave from the bottom. The knots are typically double layered and symmetrical. Some of the most well-known Chinese knots are:
- Cloverleaf knot
- Round brocade knot
- Chinese button knot
- Double connection knot
- Double coin knot
- Sauvastika knot
- Cross knot
- Square knot
- Plafond knot
- Pan Chang knot
- Good Luck knot
When Chinese knots are finished, they look identical from the front and from the back. The knots can come in a variety of colors such as gold, green, blue, or black, however the most commonly used color is red. Red symbolizes good luck and prosperity.
Chinese knots can also be made into a variety of shapes including butterflies, flowers, birds, dragonflies, dragons and fish. Some were thought to ward off evil spirits or act as good luck charms for marriages.
One of the most famous and recognizable knots is the Celtic knot. Celtic knots are endless knots, appearing to have no beginning and no end. They are sometimes referred to as mystic knots and also appear in Roman mosaics and were made by Vikings and Saxons as well as Celts.
Celtic knots can be used to make interesting tapestry patterns. You can find free Celtic knot patterns online.
Learning to Tie Decorative Knots
Learn how to tie decorative knots yourself with a great resource online called Animated Knots by Grog. This site offers animated video on how to tie 11 different decorative knots. In addition to decorative knots, the site offers a plethora of other instructional videos for tying knots associated with:
Grog also now has an iPhone application you can download to learn how to tie these knots anywhere, right from your iPhone.
The world of decorative knots is a fascinating place. It's Knot Art-All Tied Up is a blog designed for knotting enthusiasts.