Knot of the Week: Terminology

by May 4, 2009 05/4/09

knot_terminology_01_bightBefore we start delving any further into our “Knot of the Week” series, we wanted to go over some terminology which is commonly found in knot tying. The purpose of this review is to make it easier to understand the words that get thrown around with some visual examples.

Another thing we’d like to quickly mention is a bit of housekeeping on our series. Up until now we’ve just lumped all the knots together as a Knot of the Week in our categories. We’ll now be categorizing them by their appropriate respective categories (Bends, Loops, Hitches, etc…) We’ll still keep the rating system on their properties the same.


First lets clear up what our Knot of the Week categories will be.

  • Bends – Joins two lengths of rope together (Square Knot)
  • Loops – Can be either a fixed loop (Bowline) or a sliding loop (Noose)
  • Hitches – Generally used to attach a rope to an object, and can be tied slipped like the Highwayman’s Hitch
  • Lashing – Binding posts together (Ladder)
  • Whipping – Prevents a knot from fraying at its ends
  • Coil – Rope that’s been wound up to be easily managed
  • Decorative – Knot with repeating patterns used for decoration
  • Stopper – Stop rope from passing through a hole or unravelling
  • Splice – A stronger way of joining rope, or creating a loop (Weaving)


See the photo gallery below for a visual reference of these terms.

  • Bight – Any curved section of rope (“U-Shaped”)
  • Loop – A circle formed by lying the rope over  itself  (Separate from the loops category)
  • Elbow – A loop with an extra twist
  • Turn – Line passed behind or through an object
  • Round Turn – A complete turn around an object
  • Two Round Turns – Two complete turns around an object
  • Standing End – End of the rope not being used to form a knot
  • Standing Part – Section between the knot and the standing end
  • Working End – End of the rope engaged in forming a knot
  • Working Part – Section between the knot and the working end
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Stay tuned next week as we start our Knot of the Week mini-series on Climbing Knots!

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