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KINGSMERE CRAFTS

HAND-CRAFTED LEATHER GOODS

Chinese button knot

You can make this knot using either cord or round leather lace starting as indicated in Fig 1 with a length of cord approximately 2' long. Fold it in the centre to give equal lengths and push a small safety pin, or similar, through the folded centre part. This is to keep this part raised until, when you are finished, it is removed.

Figure 2. Holding your left hand in front of you with the palm facing you put your forefinger between the two equal lengths with the pin on top of your finger. The two cord tails fall across your palm with the one coming round the back of your finger on the right side. Maintain this position of the cord and pin throughout.

Figure 3. Make a clockwise loop with the right cord, placing it on top of and centred on the left cord letting the end of hang down alongside the other one, while in Fig 4, using your right hand, forefinger on top thumb under grasp the loop at the intersection. In Fig 5 the loop is turned upside down to the right and once more is placed on top of and centred on the left cord observing that the end of the loop cord points upwards.

As in Fig 6, hold it in place with your left thumb while you complete what's shown in Fig 7, where you take the left cord under the right going over the right side of the loop and under the cord in the centre of the loop, over the left side of the loop before continuing over your forefinger and falls to the back. As in Fig 8 close the cords partly by carefully pulling them to form a pretzel shape in an upright position in the front of your forefinger.

In Figs 9a and 9b push a hole in the centre of the pretzel shape between the X shapes, where the cords cross. Taking the bottom cord, Fig 10, that is the one in your palm, counter-clockwise under the right side of the pretzel shape and up through the centre hole. While as shown in Fig 11 the cord from the far side of your forefinger goes counter-clockwise, under the left side of the pretzel shape and up through the centre hole.

You can see in Fig 12 the end cords dangle from the centre of the pretzel shape, so tighten them slightly. Using your right hand, Fig 13, make the pretzel shape, round. Remove the knot, as in Fig 14, from your finger. Slowly tighten the cords using your fingers to pull down a bit of cord from one side of the safety pin, easing any excess through the knot, then do likewise on the other side. As the knot tightens, Fig 15, you may need to use tweezers until you get the final correct shape. Remove the safety pin, making certain to leave the bit of cord the safety pin had been through would still stand proud above the finished knot.

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How to make a Chinese knot


An alternative method for tying the Chinese Button Knot

An apparently simpler approach to tying the knot can be seen in the following illustrations but it may require several attempts to succeed. Proceed by forming on a flat surface the shape shown in Fig 1. As you can see in Fig 2 the two ends are allowed to drop down to form a stem.

Shape on a  flat surface Forming a stem

Work out the excess material slowly and methodically while, at the same time, keeping the knot flat, then as it draws up, permit it to form the mushroom appearance as in Fig 3. That shape comes about by the rim of the knot closing down and the centre rising rising upwards.

Forming a mushroom appearance

Final shape drwn up tightly

View of knot from above

Start to manipulate the knot into its final shape as shown in Fig 4 by drawing it up tightly. Depending on the material you are using to tie the knot you may find the use of pliers or a similar tool is beneficial at this stage. In Fig 5 you're just looking at a straight down view of the top.

Click for The Flower or Petal Knot

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