From traditional nautical knots to more updated imagery, knotted ropes have been a mainstay of the art of tattooing for generations, and with good reason. The multitude of symbolic meanings associated with knots ensures they will always be popular, both for personal as well as aesthetic reasons.
Among sailors, a rope knot traditionally meant one was a “Four Knot Sailor”, or one who had crossed the equator.
Many people choose to get a simple knot to symbolize that they have successfully traversed a difficult time in life, or to remind themselves that they are bound to something larger than themselves.
It’s popular now to design knot tattoos where the rope forms a different image. By using the physical mass of a knotted rope to create an almost sculptural effect, this type of tattoo design looks fresh and masculine and can be used in a variety of ways.
The thing about knots is that they are meant to bind, to hold fast two things in order to create something larger. In this way, a frayed knot can represent the loss of something that seemed permanent, lending an air of sorrow but strength. A knot with no ends can represent that same strength, one that has been tried and tested but never broken.
These knot tattoos will tie you to the present while evoking a bygone age.