Beautiful Rope Knots

A fascinating history of decorative rope knot tying

The historic skill of beautiful rope knots has a long, fascinating history central to Britain’s Historic Navy past. Rope decor can be traced back to the 16th Century about the time of the foundation of the British Navy by Henry VIII. The decorative knots used in Henry VIII’s navy are the same beautiful knots used in our range of rope decor. They are different from basic knots used for tying.

Here’s 10 interesting facts about the origins of beautiful rope knots:

1. Decorative rope knots were originally used on historic sailing ships to make them look their best and to be the pride of the British Navy.

2. Sailors made decorative rope items such as baskets, bracelets and mats for their wives and sweethearts waiting for them back home. Rope was so indispensable that men could be flogged for stealing it to make these nautical gifts.

3. All decorative rope knots have specific names such Turk’s Head. They were usually named after the person who designed them.

4. There are over 1700 decorative rope knots, each with its own name. The names helped illiterate sailor’s remember the complicated moves. Beautiful rope knots can take months to learn.

5. The hand movements for each decorative knot are very difficult to follow from diagrams and words, and still complicated to work out using videos. To be shown, to practice, and to remember is the only way to learn.

6. On land, every town would have had a Ropemaker and a Rope Walk – a very long straight lane where the materials to make rope were laid out before being twisted into rope.

7. Many items around your house would have originated at sea such as table mats and front door mats; climbing frame nets, rope ladders, hammocks, hearth brushes and stair ropes . Some people tie the Turk’s head to a rope for an adventure swing.

8. In modern times, high-end brands, such as Prada, use many of the same intricate decorative knots in their beautiful leather handbags.

9. One of the most intricate designs a sailor would make was a Sennet or band. A sailor would make these in only a few moments with just one strand and no join showing. These were used to protect the wrist, bind a wound or as a decorative rope bracelet.

10. Little do children know that the colourful fun of their Scubido or Scooby Strings has a long and serious rope knot tying history.

Find out more about beautiful rope knots:

The oracle for all Knot Tyers is the Ashley Book of Knots which contains 3854 drawings of all the different kinds of decorative nautical knots.
The International Guild of Knot Tyers are keen on every aspect of the knot tying skill. The designer of all our luxury home decor is a member.

View our range of beautiful rope knots

Click here for more information on our rope door stops and nautical gifts.