How to Tie Chinese Button Knots

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A Chinese button knot is an elaborate decorative knot used for clothing and woven using high-quality thread or string. Practice the Chinese button knot for a variety of crafts or sewing with instructions from a rock climbing instructor in this free video on knot tying.

Part of the Video Series: Knots & Knot-Tying Instructions
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Video Transcript

Hello this is Andrew Reynolds, and today I'm going to show you how to make a Chinese button knot. For demonstration purposes we're using a bit of a larger rope, but of course if you're using this for actual clothing the strands you are going to be using are much, much smaller. But, pay attention and you will see how to do it. So basically the longer part of your rope you just curve it around so that you have a medium length right here, and what you are going to do is cross this over making a loop right here. And you are going to cross it around again, but this time you are going to just basically just put it under the rope and the loop that you had just made. So basically you are already going to start to see a little pretzel like shape opening up here. You are going to take the long piece in your left hand rope, and you are going to curve it under this existing loop, and you are going to start to something which is typical for the Chinese button knot. It's kind of an over under, over under kind of motion. And pull that through until you have about the same loop that you would have in the other portions. Now you are going to once again be doing over under, over under, but you are going to start going over this bottom piece right here, and then you are going to go under this loop. But now we curve it up, because everything needs to follow that pattern of the four loops, so you went over under, so now you have to go over this next loop, and under. But you are going to stay under, right here, and bring it all the way up. Now just to pull it together so that you can see kind of the shape that you should have right here. Now this kind of starts to almost look like our buttons tat we use which are kind of circular with the little four holes in there, so you know you are on the right track. However, for the Chinese button knot what you have to do is kind of fold up the bottom, and bring this other rope down, and then basically you are going to have to work it a little bit. There is no real rhyme or reason, just keep pulling on these ropes themselves so that you would be able to get all the rope you need out of it. You want it as tight as possible on the top so that you will be able to see why the Chinese would use this as a button on their clothing. So the end product should look something like this. This is just basically something that Chinese sailors traditionally would use. Typically the little bone shell that was their prior button would snap, and they would just create something quickly out of the string that would originally hold the button just to create a mass of twine or string so that it would be able to not go back through the buttonhole. So that is you Chinese button knot, thanks for watching.


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