Knot of the Week: Turk's Head - ITS Tactical

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Knot of the Week: Turk’s Head

By The ITS Crew

Our Knot of the Week series continues today with the Turk’s Head, a Decorative Knot that has so many different versions, books have been written just on this family of knots. They can literally be used for nearly any type of decorative knot project you can think of. The most common use of a Turk’s Head in the Military is it’s use on presentation paddles.

This is definitely one of the more involved knots we’ve showcased here on ITS Tactical, but we’ve tried to make the video explanation as simple as possible. As a whole the Turk’s Head is not a difficult knot. If you don’t get the initial steps exactly right, or loose your place while tracing the line through, it’s easy to get frustrated though.

Turk’s Head knots can also resemble a turban, but they won’t make your carpet fly…

Turk’s Head » Decorative

(Strength: 5/Secure: 4/Stability: 3/Difficulty: 4Please refer to our  Knot of the Week introduction post for a description of what these ratings mean.


  • Decorative Knot for a seemingly endless number of uses
  • An alternative to a girth hitch in certain situations

Tying Instructions:

  1. Make a turn around the object you’re tying onto and cross the working end over the standing part
  2. With the working end, make a second turn around the object to the right of the first
  3. Thread the working end underneath your original turn around the object
  4. *Here’s where it gets tricky*
  5. You now want to now take your standing turns and cross them over each other while making a split in them
  6. Your working end now goes across the left side and underneath the right side of the turns
  7. Turn your knot so you can see the standing end hanging off to the right
  8. Now run the working end parallel with the standing part
  9. Tighten up your work and the standing end now becomes your working end
  10. From this point forward, depending on the number of wraps you want, simply trace parallel to what’s now your standing part
  11. The more complete traces you make around the knot, the more “leads” you’ll create.
  12. The Turk’s Head shown is a 3 lead, 4 bight.
  13. Please ask any questions you have, we know this can be a bit confusing to tie at first!

View the gallery or YouTube video below and follow along with the steps above!

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