Monday, February 27, 2012

Chinese Double Coin Knot - Hair Comb Tutorial

    I have been enjoying all the very cool textile jewelry that I have been seeing all over the internet lately.  I especially like the use of knots in jewelry and home decor.  I filmed a brief television segment on
My hair model "Ariel" and a few of some of the projects for the show.

A view of the pony tail knotting project.

various chinese knots and I thought I would share with you one of the knots that I
demonstrated for the viewers.
    Below are the instructions of how I made the "Chinese Double Knot" hair comb using the same knot like the one below.

Note:  My directions and method of doing the knot may or may not make sense to you.  However,  there are many ways to do chinese knotting.  I highly recommend getting a book on the various knots and their meanings.  Additionally, you can always go on YouTube.  I find it is a fun resource for learning many new techniques.   You can also find celtic knots that are very similar to the chinese knots in appearance but not meaning.  
   The chinese double knot represents "good fortune and abundance".  Making jewelry or hair
accessories with the chinese double knot is a nice handmade gift with a sweet sentiment attached to it.

Materials Used:
1 yard of cording in two contrasting colors
2 beads with large holes
hair comb
Modge Podge

Tools Needed:
Cork Mat
Pins or Tacks to hold the cording in place
soft paint brush
measuring tape

Here is how I made the knot:

Step 1
Prepare the cord ends by brushing them with a little modge podge.  Place aside and allow it to dry.  This seals the ends and keeps them from fraying.

Step 2
Once they are dry, take the two cord and pin the to the board.  You do not need to use the board, I just find it helpful in getting the tension just right.

Anyways, anchor the one end of the cord at point "A" and form a loop with the coord and pin down (like you see below), from this point you will be working with the loose end known as cord "B".  Use pins, as needed,  to hold the shape.

Step 3
Form a second loop by looping cord "B" as illustrated below.  Make sure the "B" end loops under "A".
Step 4
Form a third loop by taking cord "B" down through the two loops as illustrated below (Watch the over and under weave...this is key to get the knot correct). It will kind of look like a pretzel.

Step 5.  Once you have completed the knot pattern by weaving the cord down through the two loops as shown above, you will remove the pins so that you can tighten the knot.  I found that tightening the cord slowly keeps the knot from losing the tension necessary to maintain the right shape.  Below is what it supposed to look like.

Once you master the basic knot, you can weave it with more than one cord and have fun combining colors and beads.  I made the one below with two different colored cords and attached it to the hair comb.

Here is are some close up views of other things I made using the same knotting technique.

  • The final size of your knot completely depends on the size of the cord you use.  For the hair comb I chose a cord that was 1/8".   
  • If you are planning on making earrings to match, then I would choose a very thin cord in a similar color. 
  • You should also take into consideration the texture of the cord you pick as that will also affect the final piece.
  • Again, you can not beat YouTube as a great source to see how different people make these knots.  Each person has their own technique and I am sure you can find someone whose technique works for you.

As always, the opinions expressed on this blog are mine.  Additionally, always use care when working with art and craft supplies, especially if you have children and pets around.  All photos are copyrighted.  

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