History of Knots and Common Uses

History of Knots and Common Uses

Knot tying has been around for thousands of years and is something that many people underappreciate but often use every day of their life. From functional uses to art techniques, knots have been an essential tool for people tackling any project or task.

So, what is a knot? A knot is a fastening made by tying a piece of rope, cord, or string. This tying can be done in an infinite number of different ways and each way can hold a different purpose and strength. Each purpose has allowed for people to develop further inventions and techniques to advance the way we do things.

Before the time of cars, subways, trains, and planes, transportation by boat or animal was an everyday occurrence. Tying up animals and securing boats on water were required to keep them from being pulled away by a distraction or a strong tide. The simple action of tying a knot meant keeping or loosing something very important to many people of the time. The Bowline Knot was the most popular knot used for tying up boats and has been dated back to the Egyptian times from ships that were recently excavated.

Over time, hundreds of knots have been invented ranging from simple knots that take less than a second to make to knots that are more complex and require step-by-step instructions.

Generally, it has been agreed upon that the simplest and most used knot is the overhand knot. This knot is used every day by some people and is commonly used as a stopper. Whether you are tying off a balloon, sealing up a bag, or tying an end of a rope to keep it from unravelling, the overhand knot can be used for an endless number of things.

As for the most complicated and difficult knot, it’s hard to pinpoint just one. There is an infinite number of knots when you think about it. If you think that you’ve created the most difficult one and then add another loop or one more twist, you then have something even more complicated and complex.

Aside from tying up ships and livestock, other practical uses for knots includes tying your shoes (Bow Knot or Ian Knot), boating (Bowline Knot), and hunting or camping (Slip Knot).

Knots are used in art and crafting all the time but the most popular example of this is macramé. Macramé has been around for a very long time, but most recently became a crafting staple in the 1970s. The most popular macramé knots are the Lark’s Head Knot, Square Knots, Spiral Stitch, Clove Hitch, and Overhand Knot.

Macramé is commonly made with Cotton Rope, which can come in a variety of colors. Beads and other objects can also be worked into the craft, adding unique elements to each project. As the popularity of this craft has grown, new knots and methods for creating macramé have expanded, keeping the craft new and exciting for even veteran crafters. To learn more about the history of macramé, view a previous post here.

Whether you’re using knots for crafting, in the outdoors, or in your everyday life, knots are both a functional and artistic tool that have been essential to people from the beginning of time. What is your most used knot? Comment below!