Constrictor knot

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The constrictor knot is one of the most effective binding knots.[1][2][3] Simple and secure, it is a harsh knot that can be hard 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.

Contents

History

First called "constrictor knot" in Clifford Ashley's 1944 work The Ashley Book of Knots, this knot likely dates back much further.[4] Although Ashley seemed to imply that he had invented the constrictor knot over 25 years before publishing The Ashley Book of Knots,[1] research suggests that he was not its originator.[5] Ashley's publication of the knot did bring it to wider attention.[6]

The first known description of the constrictor knot occurs in Tom Bowling's 1866 work, The Book of Knots where it was called the "gunner's knot". Bowling described it in relation to the clove hitch, which he illustrated and called the "builder's knot". He wrote, "The gunner's knot (of which we do not give a diagram) only differs from the builder's knot, by the ends of the cords being simply knotted before being brought from under the loop which crosses them."[7] Oddly, when J. T. Burgess copied from Bowling, he changed this text to merely state "when the ends are knotted, the builder's knot becomes the gunner's Knot."[8] Although this clove hitch with knotted ends is a workable binding knot,[9] Burgess was not actually describing the constrictor knot. In 1917, A. Hyatt Verrill illustrated Burgess' Clove hitch variation in Knots, Splices and Rope Work.[10]

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