Tying a sash with the parcel bend

David M. Delaney
October 27, 2006

Here is a superior way of knotting the sash of a bathrobe, house coat, or kimono.

Ashley's Book of Knots (ABOK) [1] identifies two knots for a sash, ABOK # 1223, and ABOK # 1224 . ABOK # 1223 is tricky to tie and untie.  ABOK # 1224 is easy to tie and untie, and is a good knot for the purpose. Both of these knots are difficult to tie snuggly around the waist. If  we base a sash knot instead on ABOK #  1474, a knot that Ashley does not mention as a sash knot, we get a knot that is easy to tie to any degree of snugness around the waist, and is easy to untie. As secondary benefit, we learn (and practice often) one of the best knots for tying packages or joining two pieces of twine.  Here's what Ashley has to say about ABOK # 1474. [2] "The Drawing Bend, Harness Bend, or Parcel Bend [The various names by which Ashley had found ABOK # 1474 to be known. DMD] is about the most practical bend for twine. There is no danger of  capsizing as there is with the Weaver's Knot, and it is very secure. It has an added feature which makes it invaluable in parcel tying:   it may be tied tightly while under tension."

A bend is a knot that joins two ends of rope. Of the three names Ashley gives for ABOK # 1474, I prefer "parcel bend".

The parcel bend may be modified to make it into a sash knot by slipping it -- by pulling through a bight rather than an end as the final step,  making it into a slip knot.

ABOK-1474-G8-r.gif  sash-knot-G8-r.gif

Procedure for tying the sash knot.

Start with the sash passing behind your back. Tie the sash across your front by the following procedure.  While looking at the following pictures, imagine that you are looking down at your front and are tying the knot around your waist by knotting it in front of your body. 

step1-G8-r.gif  Step1   Place the end of the sash coming from the left side of your body, 1,  over the end of the sash coming from the right side of your body, 2.


step-2-G8-r.gifStep 2   Loop 2  up and over 1 and under itself toward the right.

step-3-G8-r.gif Step 3  Pull 2 back over itself to the left to form a "crossing knot" in 2.

step-4-G8-r.gifStep 4 Snug up the crossing knot formed by 2 and pinch it around the leftward extension of 1 with the fingers of the left hand, leaving 1 straight as it passes through the crossing knot in 2.  Grasp 1 in the right hand. Pull to the right with the right hand tightening the sash around the waist as 1 slides through the crossing knot in 2. The grip of the left hand keeps the sash from loosening when the right hand stops pulling on 1.

step-5-G8-r.gifStep 5  Keeping the sash from loosening by the grip of the left hand, tuck a bight, 3,  of 1 under the rightward extension of the tight sash.  The diraction of the tuck will be upward against your body.

step-6-G8-r.gifStep 6 Push the bight, 3,  through as shown. Pull the bight 3 with the right hand to tighten the knot.

step-7-G8-r.gifStep 7  The finished sash knot.  Pull on 1 to untie.


[1]  The Ashley Book of Knots, by Clifford W. Ashley, 1944, Doubleday, New York.
[2]   Ashley, op. cit. , p. 267

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