International Guild of Knot Tyers

The International Guild of Knot Tyers (or IGKT) is a worldwide association for people with an interest in knots and knot tying.

International Guild of Knot Tyers
Founded17 April 1982
Founder25 Founding Members
TypeEducational non-profit
FocusKnots and knotting techniques
  • International
Area served
Key people
President Bob Dollar
Vice Prof. Vaughan Jones FRS
Vice Nigel Harding

Formation and beginningEdit

Officially established in 1982, the founding members were initially drawn together by the 1978 publication in The Times of an allegedly new knot, the Hunter's bend.[1]The idea for a knotting association of some kind grew from the contact between two people. Des Pawson was a retail manager for a large stationery firm based in Ipswich and also no mean knot craftsman. Geoffrey Budworth was a Metropolitan Police Inspector and knotting consultant. Des first wrote to Geoff on 8 October 1978. They met before the month was over, and if it was not mentioned then the idea of contacting other knotting enthusiasts was raised by Des in a letter dated July, 1980, when he pressed for a suitable venue and suggested The Maritime Trust. Even then, 1981 went by without further development; and this is a source of regret to them both as it was the centenary of Clifford W. Ashley's birth.


2013 ConstitutionEdit

The object of the Guild shall be the advancement of education by the study of and practice of the art, craft and science of knotting, past and present. In furtherance of this object but not otherwise the Guild shall have the following powers:

  • (a) To undertake research into all aspects of knotting and to publish the useful results.
  • (b) To establish an authoritative body for consultation purposes
  • (c) To publish a periodical or periodicals and other papers and books about knotcrafts and related subjects.
  • (d) To form and maintain a library of books, papers, films, photographs and other materials about knotcrafts and related subjects, with a view to making information available to Members of the Guild, and to the general public.
  • (e) To form a collection of knots and knotting and work related crafts.
  • (f) To encourage the employment of knotcrafts as a manual activity in schools, and as a therapy among the physically handicapped

The goals of the organization are to promote research and act as a source of reference and consultation on knots and knotting, preserve traditional techniques and promote an interest in the public, among others.[2] Unlike a traditional guild no level of expertise is required for membership, only an interest in knotting.[3]

Members of the Guild assisted with revisions and corrections to The Ashley Book of Knots in 1991.[4][5]

Knotting MattersEdit

Knotting Matters is the quarterly news letter of the IGKT and is sent by post to all subscribed members. The first issue was published in Autumn 1982 and was 17 Pages long and in Black and white, edited by Hon. Secretary Geoffrey Budworth. The centennial was produced in September 2008 edited by Lindsey Philpott and was professionally printed with colour covers and was 50 pages in length. Knotting Matters is made from Guild members submissions and other news from the guild.

Founding membersEdit

The Guild dates from an inaugural meeting of 25 individuals aboard the Maritime Trust's vessel R.R.S. 'Discovery' berthed in St. Katharine's Dock in the lee of Tower Bridge London (UK) on April, 17th. 1982. Those in attendance were Dr. Harry ASHER, Mr. Roy E. BAIL, Mr. C.G. BELLINGHAM, Mr. Geoffrey BUDWORTH, Mr. John CONSTABLE, Mr. Bernard J. CUTBUSH, Mrs. Anne DEVINE, Mr. Ron W.EVANS, Mr. Sid EVANS, Mr. Eric FRANKLIN, Mr. Frank HARRIS,Mr. John HAWES, Mr. Paul HERBERT, Dr. Edward HUNTER, Miss. Jill JENNER,Mr. Albert KIRBY, Mr. Allan McDOWALL, Mr. Desmond MANDEVILLE, Mr. Graham MOTT, Mr. Des PAWSON, Mrs. Liz PAWSON, Mr. Douglas PROBERT, Mr. W. Ettrick THOMSON, Mr. Don WOODS and Mr. Quinton WINCH.

Mr. Robert CHISNALL of Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and Mr. Charles H.S. THOMASON of Queensland, Australia Both expressed a wish to be involved from the outset but due to distance were unable to attend the opening meeting.

International and local branchesEdit


In 2001, archaeological historian Mike Loades attempted a reconstruction of a British Iron Age chariot. He called upon IGKT member Richard Hopkins for his knowledge and experience of how to use the binding and lashing materials available at that time - rawhide, hemp, and flax - and described his contribution to the project as "invaluable".[6]

Six knot challengeEdit

This involves tying six basic knots - reef knot, sheet bend, sheepshank, clove hitch, round turn and two half-hitches and bowline - against the clock. The authenticated world record is 8.1 seconds, set by Clinton R. Bailey, Sr. in 1977.[7] IGKT members have discussed proposals for formal rules to govern future attempts on this record.[8][9]

World Knot Tying DayEdit

In 2018, the IGKT-Solent Branch promoted the idea of making the 18th of December World Knot Tying Day to celebrate and remember the author Clifford W. Ashley, who wrote and illustrated The Ashley Book of Knots. The date was selected to coincide with Clifford W. Ashley's birthday(1881) and death(1947). Members were asked to tie your favorite knot and also learn a new knot. Maybe also teach someone how to tie a knot? Even teaching someone to tie their shoelaces were sufficient. When the knots were tied, the tyers were encouraged to post a photo of their knot on their favorite social media site and Hash Tag it: (#WorldKnotTyingDay) [10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Budworth, Geoffrey (2002), Much Ado About Knotting: A History of the International Guild of Knot Tyers (2nd ed.), Needham Market, UK: Gipping Press, p. 5, ISBN 0-9515506-5-9
  2. ^ "IGKT Homepage: Extract of the Objectives of the IGKT". International Guild of Knot Tyers. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
  3. ^ "Guild Membership". International Guild of Knot Tyers. Archived from the original on 8 March 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
  4. ^ Budworth, Geoffrey (Autumn 1991). "Amending Ashley". Knotting Matters. London: International Guild of Knot Tyers (37): 26. ISSN 0959-2881.
  5. ^ Ashley, Clifford W. (1993) [1944], The Ashley Book of Knots, New York: Doubleday, p. Edition notice, ISBN 0-385-04025-3
  6. ^ Loades, Mike. "Building an Iron Age British Chariot" (PDF). Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  7. ^ The Guinness Book of World Records. 1996. p. 459.
  8. ^ Suber, Peter (1997). "Knot So Fast". Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  9. ^ "Six Knot Challenge". IGKT. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  10. ^ "World Knot Tying Day".

External linksEdit