Knot Preservation

More Than Knots

Preserving Knots

When you put knots on a display board, they are open to being untied - either by wear and tear or by a curiosity seeker.  It’s very frustrating to spend a lot of time making a knot board only to have it damaged. 


You can “preserve” knots prior to putting them on the display board.  In this section I will show a way to do so. 


The knots on the left have been “preserved”.  They still retain their normal shape so  they can be studied but are hardened so they can’t be untied.  

Items Needed

brads or pins

cardboard box

clear tape

clothes pins

cordage or tied knots

marking pen

mixing bowl

utility knife to cut the cardboard box

wax paper

white glue

Using white glue and water, mix a solution of 1 part glue to 7 to 10 parts water. 


Use a mixing bowl and thoroughly mix the solution. 


I’ve found this solution works best for preserving knots.  It is non-toxic and cleans up with water.  It also doesn’t stain or color the cordage. 

Step 1:

Step 2:

Step 3:

Use a utility knife and cut the cardboard box into a square bigger than the knot. 


Cut a piece of wax paper large enough to cover the square.  Tape the wax paper to the cardboard. 

Step 4:

Step 5:

After you have tied the knot you wish to display, thoroughly soak it in the glue solution you’ve just made. 


Make sure to soak all of the knot. 

Lay out the knot in the best position to display the  features on the cardboard covered with the wax paper.   


Using the brads or pins, pin the knot to the cardboard.  You can also use clothes pins to hold the knot on the board.


The wax paper will prevent the knot from sticking to the cardboard, and the pins will  prevent the cordage from twisting out of shape as it dries. 


It may take up to three days for the knot to thoroughly dry. 

After the knot has thoroughly dried, it can be taken off the wax paper and mounted on a temporary or permanent knot board.


Because it has been preserved, it won’t come untied. 

Step 4: continued

You can pin several knots onto a wax covered piece of cardboard.


If you have quite a few knots, it’s always best to put a tag on the knot.  That way you won’t have to guess the name of the knot you’re trying to display.