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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.
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