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Bondage: the knots


A possible definition of knot could be “a fastening formed by looping, tying or interweaving a rope (or similar material) for binding it to itself , to another rope or to another object”. For a knot being a knot, it should not untie by itself, and it shouldn’t tighten as much as for not being possible untying it.

There are many ways of looping and tying ropes, and more than a thousand that fulfill the conditions for being knots. Most of the knots come from centuries of sailing, where, as almost everything was tied with ropes, a multitude of different knots for different uses was required.

This is not a site about knots (there are many on the web, sailors', boy scouts’, climbers’, anglers’) and it doesn’t try to be the final reference on the area. We are going to show just the ones needed for “functional bondage”, and we are going to use just plain English, not the rope’s jargon.

You should practice them until they come automatically, without thinking in every step. And be sure that you got them right, because a knot that fails, untying or slipping is a safety risk. In other articles, we tell you to do things your own way. Not here. There is only one way for looping, tying or interweaving the ropes for forming each knot, and they will work only if made exactly as showed here.

You don’t need to get the knot fastened and tightened directly. You can form the knot without tightening, and work on the ropes until they are neatly spread and snugly fitted to the body, but without excessive pressure. Only then, you should tighten the knot.

The knots we will show are:

These are all the knots we think you will need, and as a reward for learning the knots, we will forgive you for forgetting their names.


And here goes the first...


The larks head

This is not a knot, but it is very useful as a base for other bindings. Or for hanging your lunch bag from a tree branch.






Just double up the rope, and pass its ends inside the loop so formed (or your bag inside its own handle)

Published: 03/17/05



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