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 Home >> Art & Craft >> Knot

The Beauty of Knotted Work

Knotted work, where shapes are made through knotting strings, is designated as the 22nd intangible Korean cultural asset.   After cutting one string in two pieces, artists can weave several shapes. If an artist uses dyed strings, the knotted work is more beautiful.

Korean traditional knotted work was used for the interior decoration of ancient palaces. There are two kinds of knotted work.   Larger pieces were made by skillful craftsman in the palaces. The small delicate works were made by of women and children. Court Ladies in Korean ancient palaces made by themselves small pieces of knotted works, and used them.

Korean knotted work is made from silk yarn. It is three-dimensional in shape. By contrast Occidental knotted work, made from cotton yarn, it is flat and shapeless, but dignified.
Knotted work is utilized for commercial packages, interior decoration, and the decoration of Korean-style dresses.   This enhances national prestige.

Kinds of knotted work

After folding one string in 2 to make two pieces of string, artists hold the center of the string, weaving one after another. The inside of knotted work is the same shape as the reverse side. Even a complex weaving begins from the center and finishes in the lower end. There are many kinds of knotted works made using different knot techniques such as Doraemaedeup and Janggimaedeup.


Artists weave using braids by twisting several threads.   In the Joseon period, the strings used for weaving were called Dahwae.   Large and flat strings used for waistbands were called Kwang Da Whae while the circular strings used as purse strings were called Wondahwae.

Tassels are often added to make artistic works look better. Norigae, personal ornaments, consist of 3 components: strings called ¡®Dahwae¡¯, knots and tassels.   There are many kinds of tassels such as Ttalgisul, Bangmang-isul¡¯, Nakjibalsul.

Ttalgisul is used for decorating children clothes.   The head of ¡®tassel¡¯ called Ban Mang I Sul is made of wood or paper and covered with golden thread.

Nakjibalsul is made with a little golden thread stretched to the same length after making knots.

Norigae was used to decorate Women¡¯s coat strings or skirts.   It was made of knot, tassel and strings in beautiful colors such as red, deep blue, and yellow.   There are a variety of styles.   Designs, still popular today, are based upon Buddhist philosophy.

There are a variety of Korean-style purses, classified according to function, such as glasses case   (Angyeong-jip), stamp case, and incense pouch. They are embroidered with lotus flowers, phoenix patterns, and chrysanthemums.

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