Tying a Bow-Tie:  Steps 1-7

Tying a Bow-Tie:  Steps 8-16

How to Tie a Bow-Tie

These steps are illustrated on page1.gif and page2.gif. Pages 1 and 2 are meant to be printed on 8 ½" x 11" paper at 96 dpi with ¾" inch margins.

  1. Start with the left end 1 ½" (4 cm) longer than the right end. Slip the short end under the long end.
    Hint: The extra length (such as 1 ½") depends on the width of the narrow part of the tie, the thickness of the cloth, and whether you want a symmetrical tie. Some people prefer lopsided or tilted ties.
  2. Choose how long you want the tie to be. The button is a reference point. Finish crossing the long end over the short end.
  3. Slip the long end under the short end, while holding the tie at the button to keep it loose.
  4. Zig-zag the end on your chest. One fold is in the wide part of the tie.
  5. Zig-zag in progress.
  6. Fold the long flap over the front of the tie.
  7. Pinch the front of the tie in half. This will let you find a side-to-side hole through the tie, which is hidden behind the front of the tie.
  8. Pinch the right side of the wide part of the tie, while swinging the long flap to the right.
  9. Push the pinched corner through the hidden hole.
  10. Flatten the right half of the front.
  11. Slip a finger into the left bow. Even up the 3 layers of the right half, while pulling the left bow through the hole.
  12. Grip all 3 layers on the right, and pull the left bow through the hole.
  13. Flatten the left half of the front.
  14. Straighten the tie.
    Hint: Some people prefer lopsided or tilted ties.
  15. Tuck the shirt points between the tie's thin strip and the bow tie.
  16. Done!         To untie, pull the single ends.


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A traditional knot. Diagrammed by Jasper in 2005.
Copyright 2005-2006 by Jasper Paulsen. Your comments are welcomed.
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Last updated August 13, 2006.