The Chinese knot is a traditional auspicious knot artwork made by plaiting a string into a knot of diversified shapes. Itâs a distinctive and traditional Chinese folk handicraft woven separately from one piece of thread and named according to its shape and meaning.
In Chinese, âknotâ means reunion, friendliness, peace, warmth, marriage, love, etc. Chinese knots are often used to express good wishes, including happiness, prosperity, love and the absence of evil.
The Chinese knot has become a symbol of China with their uniqueness and profound cultural connotations. Â Chinese people have known how to tie knots using cords ever since they began learned how to attach animal pelts to their bodies to keep warm thousands of years ago. Derived from the phenomenon of “keeping records by tying knots” prevalent in the primitive age, the “knot” contained in it a legal representation of “Contract” and therefore was of great significance. 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” today) 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 Chinese knot art in modern times is still endowed with peculiar enchantment. Chinese knots and buckle knots are used as adornments for houses and cheongsams and serve as a symbol of beauty and blessing.
The Chinese knot, with its classic elegance and ever-changing variations, is both practical and ornamental, fully reflecting the grace and depth of Chinese culture.