How to Tie a Long 4 Bight Turk's Head Knot




Introduction: How to Tie a Long 4 Bight Turk's Head Knot

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*Note that long Turk's head knots can take a lot of time, sometimes hours to complete, in gradually tightening up the knot and keeping it neat as you work, so anyone looking for a quick and easy project should look for smaller knots to tie.

The video shows the process of tying a single pass of a 21 lead 4 bight Turk's head knot, using a length of paracord.  A 2 bight Turk's head knot is tied first, then the knot is 'raised' to a 4 bight knot.  The example shown was tied with about 8 feet of paracord around a 1/2" diameter sized length of PVC pipe.  More cord would be needed to double or triple the knot or tie it around a larger diameter object like a walking cane, hiking staff/stave, support pole, stair railing, etc..  The knot can be tied shorter or longer by the number of initial turns made around your object/mandrel.  The ends are usually trimmed and tucked to finish, but finishing methods can include sewing, melting, or gluing depending on the project and materials used.

The video was made to help those that had asked me for assistance when they couldn't quite complete the knot when following a Bud Brewer tutorial, shown on the website.  So between the two, the video may offer enough info to better get the hang of tying the knot, straighten out the crossings neatly, before tightening it down over whatever object it's tied over.

The knot can be both decorative and useful, being tied around flashlights, knife handles, sheaths, and other gadgets and gear, or used as lanyards/fobs, even bracelets.  Some examples I've tied are shown towards the end of the video.

Make use of the 'Pause' button if necessary and you can always go forward and back using the video play bar.  I do not speak out loud during video tutorials, informational text annotations are added in, so you can mute the sound, listen to the ambient background noise, or listen to music, TV, news, etc.. while you watch the video.  Constructive criticism is always welcomed, but some folks will always find something to complain about, so for those that send me hate mail, the challenge is for YOU to make a better instructable the way YOU want it made...

Knot Responsibly  ;)

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14 Discussions


Question 1 year ago on Introduction

I have two questions:

1. What is the bird who sings during your video tutorial? (The one who sings in 6/8 time, like dee-del-dee dee-del-dee dee-del-dee dee-del-dee etc.)

2. I have seen useful DIY jigs on a board for making TH knots with N bights and N+1 leads, and was wondering if it's possible to make a jig for N bights and MORE THAN N+1 leads. Such would be very useful for making long TH knots on a bicycle, where the tubing has no free end available for slipping the knot over. Yes, I have made long TH knots on my bicycle using your method (see image) but having a jig would be easier.

Thanks for any information!

Added on January 21, 2019:

Regarding jigs for making TH knots with N bights and more than N+1 leads: I figured out that it is easy to do. See my notes at

-- Peter


Answer 1 year ago

I have high frequency hearing loss and tinnitus, so I can't hear hear any chirping from a bird at all, but maybe someone else that reads the comments/questions will be able to help out there.

As for the jig, I'm not sure if there is a tubular version, because of removing it and putting such a knot in place for final tightening might be an issue, but you might ask on one of the turk's head knot related groups on facebook, to see if someone there might have answers/suggestions... ;)

*Your knot work on the bicycle frame looks excellent. :)


Reply 1 year ago

Dear David,

Thanks for your super speedy response!

I added a "tip" to my comment to say the URL of the bird song is
near the end of the video, right after this time-point of the

This might make it easier for anyone searching for that lovely
bird. I never imagined that a TH tutorial might also be a
bird-watching (or bird-listening) tutorial!

As for my question about the board jig:

The board jig, described by Kevin Gagne several years ago to make
a TH knot of N bights and N+1 leads, is very convenient for
making a knot on a tube for which there is no access to the ends
of the tube (or stick).

You just put the board on top of the tube, and include the tube
when you run the cord around the back of the board(+tube). Then
when you've finished the knot, remove the pegs (nails) and slide
the board out, your knot remains around the tube, and all you
need to do is to add any additional passes and tighten the knot,
tucking the cord-ends under so they become invisible.

So I've been thinking about whether it might be possible to add a
lead or two to the N-bight, (N+1)-lead board, starting, say, with
a three-bight/four-lead board jig. It might be more complex in
order to get the crossings right, and perhaps some additional
pins or nails might be needed.

Maybe one could make a cylindrical jig that could be split
lengthwise into two pieces, so it could enclose the pipe or stick
on which you want the knot to appear, then when the knot is
complete, each half of the jig could be slid out and one could
finish the knot, adding passes and tightening the knot.

All the best, and Happy New Years,

-- Peter


4 years ago

I have a beautiful Staff that I am going to be finishing, and it is in desperate need of just his type of wrapping! no I just have to get on with staining and finishing it...too many ideas, thank you for the greatly instructive video.


6 years ago

Very cool video.


6 years ago on Introduction

Link didn't work.. Got kicked to a yahoo search page.
You fix.. I look... Looks like a knot I'd like to try.


Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

The YouTube video tutorial is up and running, but if you're looking for the photo tutorial, that site recently went down with some server/host issues, so I do not know when it will be back up, or if the links to the source infomation will still be good or not...


7 years ago

Storm has mad skills


7 years ago on Introduction

Though knots are not my thing I came across a site (and also an app if you have a smartdevice - but you can use the site itself just fine without the app) called animatedknots ( which I just had to bookmark. (no affiliations with the site - just think it might be usefull to the poster and others into that sort of thing) There is quite a library of knots explained and animated (hence the name I guess ;-)).


7 years ago on Introduction

A pineapple knot is a variation of a Turk's head knot, being interwoven into a base Turk's head knot for a particular pattern. There are other variations, each done following a method that will develop into different patterns...

Is this also known as the pinnapple knot me and my friend are going to make the paracord octopus