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Chinese Knots

Skip the buttons and craft intricate closures from cording

Threads #207, Feb./March 2020
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Chinese knots, also called frogs, make excellent replacements for buttons and buttonholes, adding texture and flair to your garment. They are also practical for fabrics where buttonholes are not feasible, such as very delicate or heavy textiles, or those prone to fraying.

Throughout China’s history, the knots have grown in complexity and beauty, and many have been imbued with special meanings. One of the basic knots, the double-coin knot, looks like two overlapping coins and is thought to bring prosperity.

I will show you how to create cording suitable for forming knots and then how to tie two different Chinese knots: a double-coin knot and a figures-of-eight knot. These single-cord knots can be a starting point on your journey into the endless world of tying knots.

Premade cording such as rattail can be purchased, but custom cording provides many opportunities for interesting design. Each knot requires approximately 18 inches…

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