Traditional Chinese Knots

Chinese women working together to make huge Chinese knot

Chinese knots have been used from the earliest times in ancient China for more than just fastening and wrapping. Some knots were used to record events, while other knots had a purely ornamental function.

Developed during the Tang and Song Dynasties and popularized in the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the Chinese knot has now become an elegant and colourful art and craft.

The word “knot” in Chinese, means reunion, friendliness, warmth, love, marriage, etc. The sound of the word when spoken in Mandarin, sounds much like the word that means anything auspicious, including, wealth, happiness, longevity, health and peace. They are often used as gifts or ornaments to express good wishes, including prosperity, love and the absence of evil. In the pursuit of auspicious things, this art form and skill has been handed down from generation to generation as a folk handicraft with a long history and profound cultural connotations.

Each design is made of a single rope and named according to its specific form and auspicious meaning. By combining different knots or other auspicious adornments into one, a very auspicious ornament expressing beauty and wishes can be formed. For example: Longevity, Double Happiness, Wish you a Fair Wind, Full of Joy, etc. These are Chinese traditional phrases that express the warmest regards and best wishes to the person who receives the gift of one of these beautifully made handcrafts.

Based on over a dozen basic knots named according to their specific shape, usage or origin, almost all knots are symmetrical, consistent with time-honored ornamental and aesthetic standards in China. They are pulled tightly together and sturdy enough to be used for binding or wrapping, which make them very practical.

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wall hanging style Chineseknot
small Chinese ornamental knots
Chinese knots close up