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Brocade Knot

Brocade Knot

Description:  The Brocade knot comes from the circular symbols favored by the Chinese to represent good fortune and completeness.    The center is round and is outlined by five loops, which can be any size.    I've seen it called the Chinese Flower knot in some books.

This decorative knot is a challenge to construct.  I recommend you make the loops as large as possible when you first learn this Chinese knot.  You will need less material as you become more familiar with the knot and have practiced a few times.

To view a Macrame pattern where this knot is featured, see Butterfly Earrings.


Cut one cord, at least 72 inches long, the first time you make the Brocade knot.

When using Paracord, as in the example shown, melt the ends with a flame to seal the inner fiber inside.

Secure all loops and bights as you make them, preferably at the crook or bend.

  • Bight = Narrow Fold
  • Loop = Circular with crossed areas

Loop 1

Step 1:   Secure the cord at the center.  You will use the right half of the cord to make the first portion of the Brocade knot.  Secure the left half for now.

Make Loop 1 in a clockwise direction, passing the working end under the secured end to form the crossing point. 

Loop 2

Step 2:  Bring the working end back to the right, passing over the secured end. 

This forms Bight A, which should be diagonal, as well as large and open. 

Step 2, continued:  Make Loop 2 on the right, rotating clockwise.  Bring the end under to form the crossing point.

Move it under the first loop on an angle, as shown.

Loop 3

Step 3:  Bring the working end down to the lower right, to make Bight B in the upper left area of the Brocade knot.

Rotate clockwise to make Loop 3 at the lower right. Pass the end under to make the crossing point. Move the end under loop 2 as well.

Bring Down

Step 4:  Bring the working end through Loop 1, passing under the right portion of it (from below).  

Bring it straight down, passing over all the segments of the Brocade knot.  It should rest to the right of the secured end. 

Design Tip:  Before moving on, make the loops and bights as large as possible so you can see all parts clearly. 

The second half of the Brocade knot is where all the weaving takes place, and you will need plenty of room to work. 

Use Left Half

Step 5:  Now you will use the left half of the cord. Pass it through Bight A, under - over.

Move it through Bight B under - over.

This creates Bight C, which is vertical, at the bottom left. (See next image).

Loop 4

Step 6:  To make Loop 4, rotate the end counter-clockwise.

Weave the cord through Bights A and C, passing
over - over - under - under the four segments. 

Bring it over the right end, and over the left edge of Loop 3.

Design Tip:  You are actually passing through Bights A and C (over - under). 

Because they are crossed, the over - under sequence is easier to remember.

Focus on passing the end through one bight at a time if you get lost.

Back to Left

Step 7:  Bring the cord back to the left, passing under  Loop 3, and under the right end.

Weave it through the last four segments, by going under - under - over - over  (same path as previous step, in reverse).


Step 8:  Rotate the end counter-clockwise to make Loop 5.  Weave through the knot again, heading towards loop 2:

Over - over - under - under, and over the remainder.

Design Tip:  Another way to look at this step is that the working end passes through both bight C and D (over - under), and over all the remaining segments.

If you get lost, just focus on the two bights individually.

Final Weaving

Step 9:  The final weaving sequence for the Brocade knot starts by passing under loop 2.

Move the end under the remaining segments, except for the last two, which should be over.

The two segments the end passes over are the same as where you started the weaving in the previous step.

Five Loops

Step 10:  Identify and secure the five loops. Remove the rest of the pins. 

Tighten the Brocade knot in the order the loops were made. 

Keep each loop secured until you are ready to tighten it, then reduce the size and secure it again.

Design Tip:  You can tighten the center first by pulling on the loops.  Leave enough room so you can see the path of the cord.

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Have any comments about the Brocade Knot? Contact Me.


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