Three Button

New Member
Some of my bow ties tend to be crooked and return to being crooked even after I repeatedly straighten them. Any thoughts on what could cause this?


New Member
For a bowtie, you make two crosses (like tying your shoes). If you cross one end over the other for the first cross, do the opposite for the second cross. And since you can't really change the second cross, you'll need to practice to see how to set up the first.


New Member
It's possible that you are beginning incorrectly. It might help if you start with the right side over the left (or left over right if you are already doing it the other way).

I used to have the same problem (with my shoelaces too.) and this corrected it.

hbs midwest

Super Member
Some of my bow ties tend to be crooked and return to being crooked even after I repeatedly straighten them. Any thoughts on what could cause this?
According to Dorothy L. Sayers' aristocratic detective, Lord Peter Wimsey, one leaves an imperfection in the bow knot to show that it has been hand-tied....:icon_smile_big:

Just a thought.



Elite Member
What kind of "crooked" are you talking about? One of the first bows I tied ended up being, after a couple of hours, at about a 45 degree angle with the ground, rather than parallel to it. If that's what you're talking about, I'd say this is past the realm of "pleasantly askew" and into the realm of "needs to be fixed." I'd recommend tying it differently, and perhaps wearing it around the house when you're not at work to see how it holds up.

If, on the other hand, your bow is just slightly askew, I agree with the others: let it be.


Super Member
There is a difference between a sloppy bow and a imperfect bow. I'm on the the road with my ipod so this may not come a across coherently.

When you cross the two ends make sure you use the end that comes out on the bottom as the end that you first fold over. For example I first cross left over right so then the the end that is now on the left is on the bottom. I then fold it and bring the piece on top over.

Some bows just don't tie well. I a bow with palmettos on it and one of ends wants to hangs limp and it looks pitiful


Super Member
A very common problem, that usually goes unnoticed. My guess is that the tie stays at about a 30 degree angle form level, and you constantly feel the need to straighten it.

That is not just a bit unkempt, but ultimately keeps you from enjoying a bow tie.

The problem, is that you are starting the last loop from underneath, and going over the top.

Instead, try starting the last loop by going over the top, not the underneath side.

As was stated earlier, always start by crossing the blade on your left, over the blade on your right.

A bow tie should never look too perfect, as was well stated earlier. However, the whole point of the tie seems to suffer, if it is constantly askew. I'll bet you can solve it easily by taking the last loop over the top, rather than from the bottom up.

If this sounds like gibberish, take a look in the archives for some well done graphics that have appeared earlier.

I had the same problem for years, and know what you are experiencing. Easy to fix. You are almost there.

Good luck.


Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I am extremely far from a bow tie expert, but you should check out the "how to tie a bow tie" link offered in the "Hall of Fame Threads" sticky near the top of the forum, I think.


Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Reef Knot vs Granny Knot

Bow Ties must always be made using a reef knot which will ALWAYS sit SQUARE. In fact the reef knot is also sometimes called the square knot for this reason.

However a Granny knot will ALWAYS sit SKEW.

So if you make a reef knot in your bowtie it can never go skew.

Shoe laces obey these same rules.

To make a reef knot:
left over right and through then right over left then through

To make a granny knot:
left over right and through then left over right then through

(for more detailed instructions, check other places on the web)

out of interest: knots are always MADE never TIED
One ties ropes together by making a knot in them, and in the same way bowtie knots are made by tying the two ends together.
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