How to Tie Chinese Knot Loops

Written by brandy burgess
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How to Tie Chinese Knot Loops
Constructing Chinese knots require patience and a steady hand. (Burke/Triolo Productions/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Chinese knot loops are an elaborate decorative knot generally used for fastening and wrapping clothing and other materials. Of the hundreds of traditional Chinese knot loops, the most commonly used is the Chinese button knot. While the knots can be found in a variety of colours, the Chinese use red as this is known as a lucky colour. Constructing these knots take practice as there are many loops to hold and weave. Execute the steps below to master this slightly difficult knot.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Cord
  • Scissors

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  1. 1

    Choose a cord that contains enough stiffness to hold the structure of the Chinese knot. Limp strings will not be strong enough to give you the desired effect. Too stiff of a cord (e.g., wire) may be too difficult to work with. Satin cords made of nylon work best for this type of knotting.

  2. 2

    Cut the cord to 3 1/2 inches in length to create a traditional Chinese button knot loop. It's always recommended to leave extra cord. Excess can be cut from the final product in the end if desired.

  3. 3

    Lace the cord under your index finger and back up. Your palm should be facing up with both ends of the excess cord visible. The midpoint of the cord will lie under the index finger.

  4. 4

    Fold each end of the cord over your fingers. This will create two parallel lines as the two ends of the cord lie side by side. Loop each end of the cord in a semicircular motion and lace under its respective standing part. This will be where the cord curves over the fingers.

  5. 5

    Create a semicircle again with each end of the cord. Tuck each end through the diamond centre under the knot. Ensure that the ends pass through the loop that is wrapped around the fingers before tucking them beneath the knot.

  6. 6

    Pull the ends of the cord through the diamond to complete the first phase of the tying process. The result will be a disc of cord that rests on the fingers, palm-side up. Slowly pull the ends of the cord while pushing the edges of the disc to tighten the disc.

  7. 7

    Firmly pull the middle loop to create a strong knot structure. At this point, there should be a single cord loop around your index finger. Pull the ends of the cord to create the Chinese button. Ensure that all loops are tightened to prevent the knot from untying.

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