Chinese Knotting: The Cloverleaf Knot (酢漿草, 几帳結び, 생쪽매듭)

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This particular knot has many names and seems to be a sequential variation from a number of different families of knots.


I previously chose to give it the name of flower knot because I've always thought of its basic shape and ordinal variations as flowers. I have since decided that this is incorrect and will be using cloverleaf going forward.

Part of the problem that I was trying to avoid was the cloverleaf/round brocade issue. In Chinese, this knot is called cloverleaf if the number of ears is 5 or less and round brocade if 6 or more. The arbitrary change in name based on the number of ears is mildly confusing, but I have faith in your ability to keep up, even when I'm being inconsistent.

Chen 1: Cloverleaf Knot (酢漿草, 酢浆 草) [zuòjiāngcǎo] (3, 4), Round Brocade Knot (團錦, 团锦) [tuán jǐn] (6)
Ruri-Ishikawa: 几帳結び (きちょう むすび) [kichoo musubi] (4), 錦結び (にしき むすび) [nishiki musubi] (6)
Ashley: #2449 (1), #652, #2448 (3), #2451, #2477, #2479, #2482 (4), #2453 (5o1), #2455, #2484 (6o1),
Korean: Ginger Knot (생쪽매듭) [saengjjok] (4), Plum Blossom Knot (매듭매듭) [maehwa] (6)
Owen: Butterfly Knot (3)
Hensel: Dragonfly Knot (4)
TAoCaWK: Double Loop Shamrock Knot (3), Shamrock Knot (4), Petal Knot (5-10), Ruyi Knot (如意) [rúyì] (3(1)x4)

Translation Notes

Cloverleaf 3-5

Strict translation of the Chinese (酢漿草, zuòjiāngcǎo, 酢浆草) for the triangular cloverleaf (3 petal cloverleaf) or square cloverleaf (4 petal cloverleaf) gives oxalis corniculata or woodsorrel, a clover-like plant.

The Japanese (几帳結び: 几帳(キチョウ)(きちょう)(kichoo) 結び (ムスビ)(むす び)(musubi)) machine translates as "screen".

The Korean (생쪽매듭, saengjjok) translates as "ginger knot", which in French is "gingembre".

Cloverleaf 6 or more (aka Round Brocade)

The hexagonal cloverleaf knot is more commonly known as the round brocade knot (團錦, tuán jǐn, 团锦) which machine retranslates (iTranslate) as "mission jin". Individually, the characters translate as "ball" and "brocade" (noun) or "glorious" (adj). A final note to the Chinese translation fun, is that the simplified version (versus the traditional above) of these same characters are very different (团锦) unlike the simplifed for the square cloverleaf.

The Japanese (錦結び: 錦(ニシキ)(にしき)(nishiki) 結び(ムスビ)(むすび) (musubi)) machine translates to English as "brocade".

The Korean (매듭매듭, maehwa maedeup) is known as the "plum blossom knot" but literally "knot knot". "Plum blossom" is "매화" (maehwa). I've seen this more than once, though, perhaps it's a typo that's been repeated via cut and paste? To round out the list of languages for which I have official or semi-official translations or canonical names, the French name for this knot (as translated from Korean) is "prunier".

Similar Knots

How To

3. 3 cloverleaf 4. 4 cloverleaf 5. 5 cloverleaf 5o2. 5 cloverleaf variant 6. 6 cloverleaf 7. 7 cloverleaf 8. 8 cloverleaf 9. 9 cloverleaf

General Tips

4 Cloverleaf

large 4 cloverleaf The 4 cloverleaf is probably the most common of the cloverleaf knots, especially since it is easy to combine many of them into a single design. For this reason, detailed instructions are given for this particular cloverleaf.

3 Cloverleaf

large 3 cloverleaf The procedure to make 3 cloverleaf is exactly the same as the 4 cloverleaf except that you do step 1, skip step 2 and go directly to step 3.

5 Cloverleaf

large 5 cloverleaf The procedure to make 5 cloverleaf can be exactly the same as the 4 cloverleaf except that you add an extra loop between step 2 and step 3. As you can see from this illustration, however, the centre is already getting quite large and loose, and if the centre doesn't hold the whole knot will fall apart. A modification that will be introduced for 6 cloverleaf can also be used for 5 cloverleaf. As always, the option is yours.

5 Cloverleaf with Overlap of 2

large 5 cloverleaf with overlap
	of 2 This variant of the 5 cloverleaf is made with the same centre doubling strategy as is used in making the 6 cloverleaf except, of course, leaving out step 3 so that you only have 5 petals.

6 Cloverleaf

large 6 cloverleaf As the cloverleaf knots get larger, the centers become larger and looser, holding together more poorly. With the 6 cloverleaf knot, we introduce the construction variations that can be used to remedy this problem.

7 Cloverleaf

large 7 cloverleaf This 7 cloverleaf is made with the same centre doubling strategy as is used in the making of the 6 cloverleaf.

8 Cloverleaf

large 8 cloverleaf As the 6 cloverleaf is constructed with a "doubled" centre, so the 8 cloverleaf is constructed with a "tripled" centre.

9 Cloverleaf

large 9 cloverleaf This 9 cloverleaf is made with the same centre tripling strategy as is used in the making of the 8 cloverleaf.

n Cloverleaf

As you progress from the 4 cloverleaf through to the 8 cloverleaf, the pattern of how to make a cloverleaf as large as one has the patience for should become clear. Make as many loops as you want. Increase the overlapping of the centre loops as the centre becomes larger/looser than you want.


Creation Date: Mon Aug 3 22:40:51 PDT 1998
Last Modified: Friday, 15-Apr-2016 03:51:02 UTC
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