Love Day Knots, Bows, and Ribbon as Gestures of Affection

A few thoughts on embellishments for love day…
Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard.
He tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred.   
He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there   
But the landlord’s black-eyed daughter,
Bess, the landlord’s daughter,
Plaiting a dark red love-knot
into her long black hair.
  The Highwayman
Alfred Noyes
There is something endearing about a jaunty necktie, a pretty lacing on flowers or
girly boots, tiny packages with satin ribbons or a carefully tied hair bow. It’s all about

I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love.” Hosea 11:4


For centuries love knots and ribbons tied just so have existed as symbols of love. Corsets, laced boots, garters, fasteners for lingerie and jewelry: love all tied up and withheld or given.  While it sounds like one of those twisty, edgy novels, we use ribbon, knots, bows and lacing to convey meaning and often affection–in wedding rings, packages, clothing and flowers.


Twin Peaks Cherry Stem Knottiness

Love Knots are associated with both early Valentines and with Bride’s Bouquets–the knot was considered a wish for good luck.  I seal many of the bouquets I make with a love knot flourish of well wishes tied into the bouquet with the ribbon.

Some believe the first love knots were tied by sailors and left as gestures of affection before leaving for the sea as the knot symbolized entwined lovers.  Irish women created knitted designs not only to keep their sweethearts warm, but also to invest their work with spells and charms designed to keep loved ones safe.  In the middle ages, chivalrous Knights tied lacy emblems of courtly love on battle garb and Ladies gifted their belongings as tokens of admiration for ability in contests or on the battlefield.  Arabic girls communicated secret feelings to their beloved with knots in a secret language.  Carpets and prayer rugs were knotted with meaning as well–mystical beliefs tied up in designs of silk or wool.

How something is given can be as meaningful as the thing itself. Presentation conveys emotion and tenderness, friendship, well wishing, thoughtfulness.  A knot shows completion, an end or beginning, a binding agreement, an imprisonment, an engagement, a promise, or a gordian challenge.

A languorous and draping ribbon makes a  seductive impression. It leads you in.

Shelley Pomeroy’s beautiful silk ribbons are hand dyed using plant materials. Photos courtesy


Dated Love Letters  bound in ribbon warm the heart–missives of affection held through time♥ DSC_4854

Deciding on a ribbon or wrapping is a Qixote like quest. Color and materials hold meaning.  Hair tied with a blue satin ribbon has a different feeling than  hair captured with homespun, indigo dyed silk, leather or lace.  A  tie of a filmy fabric or ribbon is seductive and romantic–a dance of veils–and a simple twine of cotton, hemp or linen is organic, natural and rustic.

A bow or tie is a binding and also an embellishment.  Choose wisely or frivolously–it will be understood that there is a meaning to the message.

♥ You might also enjoy Miss Trunchbull’s diatribe on the evils of hair ribbon♥

valentine, seduction, affection, flourish, endearments, ribbon, wrapping, embellishment, ruffle, bow, frill, scallop, love knot, tied, embrace, hold, darling, dear, sweetheart,  lover




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