A “bend’ in knotting terminology is a knot used to join two ropes. The carrick bend is consider superior in strength and utility to the square or reef knot (which is not classed as a bend).
In 1783 the carrick bend was mentioned in nautical dictionary. There are several possible explanations for the name “Carrick”; Ormonde Castle in Carrick-on-Suir shows numerous Carrick bends in its plaster reliefs, Carrick Roads anchorage by Falmouth in Cornwall,England, or the medieval ship called a “Carrack”.
The carrick bend is pretty simple to tie, and when it is drawn up it ‘upsets’ or ‘capsizes’ into a bend that will not jamb (unlike the square knot) no matter how tight it gets.
A decorative carrick bend mat can be tied by following the ends of the bend back on themselves and doubling the lays of the bend.
You can download the Carrick bend infographic as a PDF file below.
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Larry Green says
Hi Clarke. Thanks to Adolph Peschke’s directives, the carrick bend has been one of my favorite knots, and your post prompted me to include it as such sooner than later: http://scoutpioneering.com/2013/03/05/favorite-pioneering-knots-carrick-bend/ I’ve been using it for years joining the ends of two 1/2″ polypropylene rope grommets. Thanks for the informative post!
Shouldn’t the green go under itself on the right hand bight?
Clarke Green says
Indeed it should! Fixed that, thank you.