International Guild of Knot Tyers

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International Guild of Knot Tyers
Founded17 April 1982
Founder25 Founding Members
Type Educational non-profit
FocusKnots and knotting techniques
  • International
Area served
Key people
President Bob Dollar
Vice Prof. Vaughan Jones FRS
Vice Nigel Harding

The International Guild of Knot Tyers (or IGKT) is a worldwide association for people with an interest in knots and knot tying.


Formation and beginning

Officially established in 1982, the founding members were initially drawn together by the 1978 publication in The Times of an allegedly new knot, the Hunter's bend. [1] The idea for a knotting association of some kind grew from the contact between two people. Des Pawson was a retail manager for a large stationery firm based in Ipswich and also no mean knot craftsman. Geoffrey Budworth was a Metropolitan Police Inspector and knotting consultant. Des first wrote to Geoff on 8 October 1978. They met before the month was over, and if it was not mentioned then the idea of contacting other knotting enthusiasts was raised by Des in a letter dated July, 1980, when he pressed for a suitable venue and suggested The Maritime Trust. Even then, 1981 went by without further development; and this is a source of regret to them both as it was the centenary of Clifford W. Ashley's birth.


2013 Constitution

The object of the Guild shall be the advancement of education by the study of and practice of the art, craft and science of knotting, past and present. In furtherance of this object but not otherwise the Guild shall have the following powers:

The goals of the organization are to promote research and act as a source of reference and consultation on knots and knotting, preserve traditional techniques and promote an interest in the public, among others. [2] Unlike a traditional guild no level of expertise is required for membership, only an interest in knotting. [3]

Members of the Guild assisted with revisions and corrections to The Ashley Book of Knots in 1991. [4] [5]

Knotting Matters

Knotting Matters is the quarterly news letter of the IGKT and is sent by post to all subscribed members. The first issue was published in Autumn 1982 and was 17 Pages long and in Black and white, edited by Hon. Secretary Geoffrey Budworth. The centennial was produced in September 2008 edited by Lindsey Philpott and was professionally printed with colour covers and was 50 pages in length. Knotting Matters is made from Guild members submissions and other news from the guild.

Founding members

The Guild dates from an inaugural meeting of 25 individuals aboard the Maritime Trust's vessel R.R.S. 'Discovery' berthed in St. Katharine's Dock in the lee of Tower Bridge London (UK) on April, 17th. 1982. Those in attendance were Dr. Harry ASHER, Mr. Roy E. BAIL, Mr. C.G. BELLINGHAM, Mr. Geoffrey BUDWORTH, Mr. John CONSTABLE, Mr. Bernard J. CUTBUSH, Mrs. Anne DEVINE, Mr. Ron W.EVANS, Mr. Sid EVANS, Mr. Eric FRANKLIN, Mr. Frank HARRIS,Mr. John HAWES, Mr. Paul HERBERT, Dr. Edward HUNTER, Miss. Jill JENNER,Mr. Albert KIRBY, Mr. Allan McDOWALL, Mr. Desmond MANDEVILLE, Mr. Graham MOTT, Mr. Des PAWSON, Mrs. Liz PAWSON, Mr. Douglas PROBERT, Mr. W. Ettrick THOMSON, Mr. Don WOODS and Mr. Quinton WINCH.

Mr. Robert CHISNALL of Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and Mr. Charles H.S. THOMASON of Queensland, Australia Both expressed a wish to be involved from the outset but due to distance were unable to attend the opening meeting.

International and local branches


In 2001, archaeological historian Mike Loades attempted a reconstruction of a British Iron Age chariot. He called upon IGKT member Richard Hopkins for his knowledge and experience of how to use the binding and lashing materials available at that time - rawhide, hemp, and flax - and described his contribution to the project as "invaluable". [6]

Six knot challenge

This involves tying six basic knots - reef knot, sheet bend, sheepshank, clove hitch, round turn and two half-hitches and bowline - against the clock. The authenticated world record is 8.1 seconds, set by Clinton R. Bailey, Sr. in 1977. [7] IGKT members have discussed proposals for formal rules to govern future attempts on this record. [8] [9]

World Knot Tying Day

In 2018, the IGKT-Solent Branch promoted the idea of making the 18th of December World Knot Tying Day to celebrate and remember the author Clifford W. Ashley, who wrote and illustrated The Ashley Book of Knots . The date was selected to coincide with Ashley's birthday (1881). Participants were asked to tie their favorite knot and also learn a new knot. Maybe also teach someone how to tie a knot? Even teaching someone to tie their shoelaces was sufficient. When the knots were tied, participants were encouraged to post a photo of their knot on their favorite social media site with the hashtag #WorldKnotTyingDay. [10] In 2020, the IGKT shifted the day of the celebration to September 18. This date coincides with the day Ashley passed away (1947).

See also

Related Research Articles

Knot Method of fastening or securing linear material

A knot is an intentional complication in cordage which may be practical or decorative, or both. Practical knots are classified by function, including hitches, bends, loop knots, and splices: a hitch fastens a rope to another object; a bend fastens two ends of a rope to each another; a loop knot is any knot creating a loop, and splice denotes any multi-strand knot, including bends and loops. A knot may also refer, in the strictest sense, to a stopper or knob at the end of a rope to keep that end from slipping through a grommet or eye. Knots have excited interest since ancient times for their practical uses, as well as their topological intricacy, studied in the area of mathematics known as knot theory.

Constrictor knot

The constrictor knot is one of the most effective binding knots. Simple and secure, it is a harsh knot that can be difficult or impossible to untie once tightened. It is made similarly to a clove hitch but with one end passed under the other, forming an overhand knot under a riding turn. The double constrictor knot is an even more robust variation that features two riding turns.

Truckers hitch

The trucker's hitch is a compound knot commonly used for securing loads on trucks or trailers. This general arrangement, using loops and turns in the rope itself to form a crude block and tackle, has long been used to tension lines and is known by multiple names. Knot author Geoffrey Budworth claims the knot can be traced back to the days when carters and hawkers used horse-drawn conveyances to move their wares from place to place.

A whipping knot or whipping is a binding of marline twine or whipcord around the end of a rope to prevent its natural tendency to fray.

Packers knot

The packer's knot is a binding knot which is easily pulled taut and quickly locked in position. It is most often made in small line or string, such as that used for hand baling, parcel tying, and binding roasts. This latter use, and its general form, make it a member of a class of similar knots known as butcher's knots. The knot is commonly taught to Guides and Scouts, and those in similar organizations as a basic binding knot.

Artillery loop

The artillery loop is a knot with a loop on the bight for non-critical purposes. The artillery loop must have the loop loaded or it will slip and contract easily. It is an inferior knot to the alpine butterfly knot, possibly dangerously so, in that it can be yanked out of shape and turn into a running knot or noose.

Carrick mat Flat woven decorative knot

The carrick mat is a flat woven decorative knot which can be used as a mat or pad. Its name is based on the mat's decorative-type carrick bend with the ends connected together, forming an endless knot. A larger form, called the prolong knot, is made by expanding the basic carrick mat by extending, twisting, and overlapping its outer bights, then weaving the free ends through them. This process may be repeated to produce an arbitrarily long mat.

Grief knot

A grief knot is a knot which combines the features of a granny knot and a thief knot, producing a result which is not generally useful for working purposes. The word grief does not carry its usual meaning but is a portmanteau of granny and thief.

Hunters bend

Hunter's bend is a knot used to join two lines. It consists of interlocking overhand knots, and can jam under moderate strain. It is topologically similar to the Zeppelin bend.

Carrick bend

The Carrick bend, also known as the Sailor's breastplate, is a knot used for joining two lines. It is particularly appropriate for very heavy rope or cable that is too large and stiff to be easily formed into other common bends. It will not jam even after carrying a significant load or being soaked with water.

Sheet bend

The sheet bend is a bend. It is practical for joining lines of different diameter or rigidity.

Buntline hitch

The buntline hitch is a knot used for attaching a rope to an object. It is formed by passing the working end around an object, then making a clove hitch around the rope's standing part and taking care that the turns of the clove hitch progress towards the object rather than away from it. Secure and easily tied, the buntline hitch will jam when subjected to extreme loads. Given the knot's propensity to jam, it is often made in slipped form.

The buntline hitch, when bent to a yard, makes a more secure knot than two half hitches, but is more liable to jam. It differs from two half hitches in that the second half hitch is inside instead of outside the first one.

Clifford Warren Ashley American artist, author, sailor, and knot expert

Clifford Warren Ashley was an American artist, author, sailor, and knot expert.

<i>The Ashley Book of Knots</i> 1944 encyclopedia of knots by Clifford W. Ashley

The Ashley Book of Knots is an encyclopedia of knots written and illustrated by the American artist Clifford W. Ashley. First published in 1944, it was the culmination of over 11 years of work. The book contains 3,854 numbered entries and approximately 7,000 illustrations. The entries include knot instructions, uses, and some histories, categorized by type or function. It remains one of the most important and comprehensive books on knots.

Adjustable bend

The adjustable bend is a bend knot that is easy to lengthen or shorten.

Bottle sling

The bottle sling is a knot which can be used to create a handle for a glass or ceramic container with a slippery narrow neck, as long as the neck widens slightly near the top.

Fiador knot

The fiador knot is a decorative, symmetrical knot used in equine applications to create items such as rope halters, hobbles, and components of the fiador on some hackamore designs. As traditionally described, it is a four strand diamond knot in which six of the eight ends loop back into the knot, thus allowing it to be tied with a single line. While a specific knot is discussed in this article, the fiador knot has also been treated as an entire class of multi-strand knots similarly made with a single line.

Bight (knot)

In knot tying, a bight is a curved section or slack part between the two ends of a rope, string, or yarn. A knot that can be tied using only the bight of a rope, without access to the ends, is described as in the bight. The term "bight" is also used in a more specific way when describing Turk's head knots, indicating how many repetitions of braiding are made in the circuit of a given knot.

Snuggle hitch

The snuggle hitch is a modification of the clove hitch, and is stronger and more secure. Owen K. Nuttall of the International Guild of Knot Tyers came up with this unique hitch, and it was first documented in the Guild's Knotting Matters magazine issue of January, 1987. Generally, hitches are used to attach a line to another rope or spar, pole, etc., and are usually temporary. Thus, they should be relatively easy to untie.

Double overhand noose

The double overhand noose is a very secure hitch knot. It might be used by cavers and canyoneers to bind a cow tail or a foot loop to a carabiner.[ [File:Noeud double gansé.jpg|thumb|Double overhand noose binding carabiners.]]


  1. Budworth, Geoffrey (2002), Much Ado About Knotting: A History of the International Guild of Knot Tyers (2nd ed.), Needham Market, UK: Gipping Press, p. 5, ISBN   0-9515506-5-9
  2. "IGKT Homepage: Extract of the Objectives of the IGKT". International Guild of Knot Tyers. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
  3. "Guild Membership". International Guild of Knot Tyers. Archived from the original on 8 March 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
  4. Budworth, Geoffrey (Autumn 1991). "Amending Ashley". Knotting Matters. London: International Guild of Knot Tyers (37): 26. ISSN   0959-2881.
  5. Ashley, Clifford W. (1993) [1944], The Ashley Book of Knots, New York: Doubleday, p.  Edition notice, ISBN   0-385-04025-3
  6. Loades, Mike. "Building an Iron Age British Chariot" (PDF). Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  7. The Guinness Book of World Records. 1996. p. 459.
  8. Suber, Peter (1997). "Knot So Fast" . Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  9. "Six Knot Challenge". IGKT. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  10. "World Knot Tying Day".