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.
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