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Chinese Knot

An Introduction to Chinese Knot

The Chinese knot is a traditional auspicious knot artwork made by plaiting a string into a knot of diversified shapes. As a clasp made by plaiting cloth strips, the buckle knot is used in traditional garments such as Tang suit and cheongsam. Both Chinese knots and buckle knots are of artistry and practicability.

The Chinese knot and buckle knot have become a symbol of China with their uniqueness and profound cultural connotations. Archaeological studies indicate that the art of tying knots dates back to prehistoric times. It was widely applied to fix garment, ornaments and seals in the Tang and Song Dynasties. In the Ming and Qing Dynasties, it was prevailing and divided into two types: auspicious hanging decorations and weaved trappings. Auspicious hanging decorations (known as "Chinese knot" currently) were customarily used on religious occasions to ward off misfortunes, while weaved trappings were of various types including buckle knot. Different knots are endowed with different meanings. For example, the interlink palindrome-type "Truelove Knot" plaited with brocade ribbons symbolizes mutual love and living to old age in conjugal bliss. These knots are also an embodiment of people's pursuit of truth, goodness and beauty. Meaning expression with knots can be seen in poems and classical Chinese writings such as Book of Songs, Rhapsody on Chu and Han Yuefu (a style of poems during the Han dynasty, collected by the Bureau of Music).  

The art of Chinese knot nearly became extinct in the 20th century but in recent years has enjoyed a resurgence of interest. To fit in with the needs of morden life, Chinese knot has various products. The two main series are auspicious hanging and knitting clothing adornment. Auspicious hangings include large tapestry, big room hanging, automobile hanging etc. Knitting clothing adornment includes ring, eardrop, hand chain, necklace and other woman's special adornments. Knots can now be seen in abundance as wall hangings, on clothing, and wide variety of decorative objects serve as a symbol of beauty and blessing. 

Tapes of Chinese knot
Double Connection Knot: This knot is very useful for the beginning or end of any decorative knot. The knot forms an X shaped figure when complete. It is simple to make and does not loosen easily. The more you pull, the tighter it becomes.

Double Coin Knot: The Double Coin Knot looks like two overlapping traditional styled Chinese coins which are round with a square hole in the center. In Chinese, the name of knot has an auspicious sound: Double Perfection. This decorative knot has many applications. It is not a tight knot. It can be tied with different colored threads to make attractive patterns. It can also be tied with double strands to add to its beauty.
Cross Knot: This knot is unique in that it looks different from the front and the back. The front looks like a cross, but the back looks like a square. Therefore, sometimes its called a Square Knot. This is a relatively simple knot to make. It is frequently combined with other knots. A common application of this knot is to use it to make a fire cracker by repeating the pattern over and over again.

Snake Knot: This a relatively simple knot to make and can be used to make bracelets with beads and other objects incorporated into it.

Flat Knot: This is one of the simplest knots to make. Frequently used to decorate toys, like little string dolls.

Alternating Knot
: This knot is quite easy to make. It can be used to make bracelets by repeating the pattern.

Longevity Knot:
This an interesting knot to make. It looks complicated but not difficult to make. Resembling a swastika, but actually reversed. In Chinese it is an auspicious symbol meaning ten thousand blessings. It is a knot with many applications.

Cloverleaf Knot: This knot resembles a three-leaf clover and is a symbol of good luck. There are many varieties of this knot with many applications. It is popular knot.

Good Luck Knot: This is, of course, an auspicious knot frequently used on monk’s garments or drapes in temples signifying good luck. It is an elegant knot. For tying this knot you need very nimble fingers. You will need to use all your fingers of your left hand.  

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