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Chinese Knots

Knotting is an ancient art form in China, and the knots formed with beautiful silk cord have been used for thousands of years for both practical and decorative purposes. These ornamental knots were often used to add elegance to otherwise functional objects including hair pins, eyeglass cases, and lanterns. These intricate designs are not only beautiful, but they hold special meanings as well- from the double coin knot used to represent prosperity to the pan chang knot which represents the Buddhist concept of the cyclical nature of all existence.

The Meaning of Ornamental Chinese Knots

  Button Knot
The seemingly endless pattern of this knot is considered a symbol of good luck. It is also used to represent the Buddist concept of the cyclical nature of all existence.
  Flat Button Knot
This knot is considered a symbol of good luck.
  Double Coin Knot
This design mimics a classic Chinese decorative motif of two antique Ch inese coins overlapping. The design was once believed by merchants to bring prosperity. It is also used to connote longevity.
  Cross Knot
The cross symbol in Chinese simply means ten.
  Cloverleaf Knot
As in many western cultures, the four-leaf clover is believed to bring good luck.
  Sauvastika Knot
Also known as the virtue knot, this symbol, when written, faces the opposite direction of the swastika once used to denote the Nazi party. The sauvastika is in fact an ancient religious symbol used to represent the heart of Buddha, Buddha's presence in every soul, good fortune, and power over evil. This symbol was also once used to represent 10,000. In Buddhist symbolism, the sauvastika stands for amassing good fortune, virtue, and a symbol of Buddhism and Buddha himself.
  Double Connection Knot
This knot is often used in decorative Chinese knotting, but it has no special meaning.
  Good Luck Knot
According to an authority on Chinese knotting, Lydia Chen, this knot was at one time nameless so she christened it the good luck knot in the hopes that it will bring luck to the person who receives the knot as well as the person who gave it.
  Pan Chang Knot
Also known as the mystic knot, the pan chang knot is considered one of the eight Buddhist treasures. Its endless pattern represents the cyclical nature of all existence, symbolizing birth and death while indicating that life can exist forever- one of the basic beliefs of Buddhism. This intricate design is also used to represent the mysteries of the universe, and it is thought to bring good fortune to the wearer as well as those who view it. In addition, the Chinese word for this knot shares the sound of the Chinese word for happiness, and as such, it is thought to mean happiness without end.
  Long Pan Chang Knot
This is a rectangular version of the pan chang (or mystic) knot.
  Round Brocade Knot
This knot was inspired by the rounded patterns often found in Chinese brocade. The round pattern is used to show good fortune because the circle represents completeness to the Chinese as well as the origin of all creation while a ring is the symbol of eternity.
Image Coming Soon   Brocade Ball Knot
Chinese legend states that an indecisive woman can toss the brocade ball amongst a group of suiters and the man who catches it will be her groom. In this case, it is believed that Fate knows best, and as such, this decorative knot is a symbol of preordained marital happiness.
  Snake Knot
The snake is one of the twelve animals represented in the Chinese horoscope. Like many of the Chinese symbols, the snake is regarded as a source of good luck as well as a guardian of treasure.
  Plafond Knot
This knot was designed after the decorative ceters of ceilings in Chinese palaces and temples. The ceilings often have a circular design in the center with repeating patern which flows to the edges of a bordering rectangle. The plafond knot echoes this design with its spiral center and rectangular border.
  Flat Knot
This knot has a long history in the Eastern cultures as well as in the West where it was known as the square knot or reef knot. Ancient Greeks used this knot as well, calling it the Hercules knot.
  Ju I Knot
The ju i is an elongated scepter of unknown origins. The name ju i means "everything according to your heart's desire" and as such, this knot is a symbol of great fortune. Carrying one is thought to bring good luck and owning one is believed to result in prosperity.
  Prosperity Knot
This knot earned its name from having the appearance of several double coin knots woven together.
  Ten Accord Knot
This knot is used to symbolize all of the things that the Chinese consider to make up a good life. These include:
1. Multiple returns from one investment
2. Two hearts living together in harmony
3. Passing the three levels of civil examination with flying colors
4. Peace through each of the four seasons
5. A plentiful harvest of the five major grains
6. Strong spring growth in all of the six Chinese cardinal directions
7. The blessing of seven successful sons
8. A life longer than the eight immortals
9. Nine generations under a single roof
10. Complete wealth and prosperity
  Dragonfly Knot
Although dragonflies do not have any mythological heritage in the Chinese culture, they are often featured in Chinese art and poems.