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Decorative knot tying can be seen on everything from keychains to huge Navy vessels and everything in between.
Not all decorative knots are purely artistic ornaments, most of them serve a purpose and are rooted deep in tradition.
For instance, military decorative knots are often seen wrapped on Navy and Marine Corps paddles. These paddles are presented to certain military members during their promotions or retirements.
Decorative knots are typically tied with military 550 parachute cord and it’s best to use cord no less than 1/8″ in diameter and no thicker than 3/8″.
If you’re planning on undertaking a large decorative knot project, try to buy your 550 cord in bulk to save some money.
Supply Captain is a great place to pick up 7 strand Kernmantle style 550 cord that conforms to MIL-C-5040 Type III, they sell in 100 ft. lengths or by the spool.
Also, don’t forget that the “guts” or inner strands of paracord can be removed and the single length of 550 can become seven different lengths of smaller cord that’s perfect for decorative knot projects.
Some excellent books that we’ve read while learning about decorative knots include “The Complete Book of Decorative Knots” and “The Marlinspike Sailor,” both of these books have a wealth of information for the aspiring rope-worker.
Our goal with these forthcoming tutorials is to present the many popular decorative knots to enable you to make your own decorative rope work on whatever you may desire.
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