by J. Paul Gomez January 30, 2020
But there's another reason why I'm calling this the Entered Apprentice knot- it is the first knot that most boys learn from their fathers when they first learn how to tie a tie, hence the nickname "schoolboy knot". Because of its simplicity and elegance, it is the most popular tie knot in the world. At one point, the four-in-hand is the only tie allowed by the United States Army.
There's an exclusive London gentlemen's club that we have to thank for it (hint: not the Freemasons). It became popular among members of the Four-in-Hand Driving Club in the 1850s. Etymologists report that carriage drivers in Great Britain knotted their reins with a four-in-hand knot.
The drivers also wore their scarves and cravats knotted in "four-in-hand". A cravat such as the FraternalTies Platinum Corinthian cravat below is tied with four-in-hand that is why the knot is also known as the "cravat knot".
When it's used to attach a rope to an object, the four-in-hand knot is known as the buntline hitch. It was used by sailors throughout the age of sail to rig ships and remains a useful working knot today.
How is it that such a simple and irregularly balanced knot can acquire a handsome and dignified look? The answer may lie in a world view which the Japanese call wabi-sabi- a philosophy which is centred on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete".
The four-in-hand is an extremely versatile knot that will look slightly different each time you tie it but always asymmetrical. Here's a photo of the knots card that we ship along with our ties while the accompanying text instruction is taken word for word from Business Insider.
W. Bro. John Paul Gomez (aka Paul, JP, JPG) is an artist by trade and a full-time father-of-4. He currently serves as the W.M. for Doric Lodge No. 316 AF&AM in Ontario, Canada. He is a Senior DeMolay and an honorary member of Harmonie Lodge No. 699 F&AM in Buffalo, New York. He likes to cook and is a big fan of Muaythai.
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