The four-in-hand knot is a method of tying a man's necktie. Also known as a simple knot or schoolboy knot, the four-in-hand is believed to be the most popular method of tying ties due to its simplicity. Some reports state that carriage drivers tied their reins with a four-in-hand knot, whilst others claim that the carriage drivers wore their scarves in the manner of a four-in-hand, but the most likely explanation is that members of the Four-in-Hand Club in London began to wear the neckwear, making it fashionable. The knot produced by this method is on the narrow side, slightly asymmetric, and appropriate for all occasions.
The four-in-hand knot is tied by placing the tie around the neck and crossing the broad end of the tie in front of the narrow end. The broad end is folded behind the narrow end and brought forward on the opposite side, passed across the front horizontally, folded behind the narrow end again, brought over the top of the knot from behind, tucked behind the horizontal pass, and the knot pulled snug. The knot is slid up the narrow end of the tie until snug against the collar.
Using the notation from The 85 Ways to Tie a Tie, the knot is tied
- Li Ro Li Co T.
In more utilitarian settings the four-in-hand knot is known as the buntline hitch. It was used by sailors throughout the age of sail for the rigging of ships and remains a useful working knot today. Although topologically identical, when the knot is made in the manner used to fasten a flat necktie it appears somewhat different than when tied in cylindrical cordage for load-bearing purposes.
- Small knot - a lesser known but somewhat simpler necktie knot
- Half-Windsor knot - a more symmetric and slightly broader knot
- Windsor knot - a more symmetric and substantially bulkier knot
- How to Tie a Four-in-hand Knot
- Encyclopedia of tie knots at Thomas Fink's homepage
- Printable instructions at 1000guides.com