Chinese button knot

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Doubled Chinese button knot, flat and tightened in the same picture
Category Decorative
Category #2 Stopper
Related diamond knot, Celtic button knot
Typical use clothing button
ABoK #599

Chinese button knot is essentially a diamond knot where the lanyard loop is shortened to a minimum, i.e. tightened to the knot itself. There emerges therefore only two lines next to each other from the knot: the beginning and the end. The knot has traditionally been used as a button on clothes in Asia, thus the name.


The diamond knot is usually tied with a carrick bend as a first step. This results then in a knife lanyard knot which can be used as a button hole, as well as a button.

There is however a tying method that does not require a carrick bend as a first step, and does not produce a lanyard loop that needs to be reduced when used as a button. This method provides just the button, a spherical basket weave knot, in the style of Turk's head knot or diamond knot.

Chinese button knot in single configuration, along with 4 steps in tying it; thin red lines showing the move(s) to get to the next step
  1. - Under hand slip knot, with slip-end exiting upwards to the right.
  2. - Slip-end leftwards over the knot, under and up through the slip loop, resulting in two interlocking slip knots in radial symmetry, with ends exiting upwards.
  3. - Ends down the opposite triangular holes at center, while swirling slightly around each other resulting in a four petaled flower with double stem,
  4. - For a several strand Chinese button knot follow consistently along the in or out side of the other stem back to the same point after having traversed all four petals.
  5. - Tighten to an evenly spherical button.