Chinese Knot: Beauty of Symmetry

Chinese Knot or Chinese traditional decorating Knot is a kind of characteristic folk decorations of handicraft art. Appeared in ancient time, developed in Tang and Song Dynasty (960-1229A.D.), and popularized in Ming and Qing Dynasty (1368-1911A.D.) Chinese Knot has now become a kind of elegant and colorful arts and crafts from its original practical use.

The characteristic of Chinese Knot is that every knot is made of a single rope and named according to their distinctive shapes, usages, or origins. The Two-Coins Knot, for example, is shaped like two overlapping coins once used in ancient China. The Button Knot functions as a button, and the Reversed Swastika Knot was derived from the Buddhist symbol commonly seen on the streamers hanging down from the waistband of the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy.

By combining different knots or other auspicious adornments skillfully, an unique auspicious ornament which represents beauty, idea and wishes is formed. For example, "Full of joy", "Happiness & Longevity", "Double Happiness", "Luck and Auspiciousness as one wishes" and "Wish you a fair wind" are Chinese traditional pleasant phrases expressing warmest regards, best wishes and finest ideal.

The knots are pulled tightly together and are sturdy enough to be used for binding or wrapping, making them very practical. Furthermore, the complicated structure of the Chinese knot allows all kinds of variations and enhances its decorative value. Almost all basic Chinese knots are symmetrical, which has set certain technical limitations on the design and creation of new patterns and themes. Symmetry is consistent with time-honored ornamental and aesthetic standards in China. Visually, the symmetrical designs are more easily accepted and appreciated by Chinese people.

Its artistry and beauty have evolved from being functional to decorative through the times. It was used as an ornament to decorate many items including the imperial garments, on carriages, sword sheaths, caps, belts and sashes of the senior officials and adorned by ladies on cheongsams. Today, jewelry, clothes, gift-wrapping and furniture are accentuated with unique Chinese knot creations. Large Chinese knot wall hangings have the same decorative value as fine paintings or photographs, and are perfectly suitable for decorating a parlor or study.


Article source: