Turquoise Turtle Shoelace Knot

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Also known as the “Shoemaker's Knot”, this is a lesser known secure shoelace knot. Make a Two Loop Shoelace Knot, but before pulling tight, pass the loop and adjacent loose end through the middle for a second time.

Step 1:

Begin with regular “Starting Knot”

Begin with a regular Left-over-Right Starting Knot.

Step 2:

Fold both lace ends into “loops”

Make both ends into “loops” by simply doubling them back onto themselves.

(I guess they should still be called “Bunny Ears” because turtles don't have long, floppy ears!)

Step 3:

Cross right (blue) loop over left (yellow)

Cross the right (blue) loop over the left (yellow) loop so that the blue loop sits in front and is now the left loop.

Step 4:

Wrap right (yellow) loop around to front

The yellow loop is now the right loop. Begin to wrap that loop around the left (blue) loop to end up in front.

Up to this point, the knot is exactly the same as the Two Loop Shoelace Knot.

Step 5:

Feed right (yellow) loop through “hole”

Feed the right (yellow) loop through the “hole” that has just been made. Feed a fair amount through so that you still have a good length of loop to work with.

Step 6:

Wrap loop plus loose end a second time

Take the right (yellow) loop plus the right (blue) loose end together as a “bundle” and wrap them both around so that they end up in front.

Step 7:

Feed loop plus loose end through hole

The “bundle” is now fed into the “hole” between the laces. Like the Surgeon's Shoelace Knot, this second wrap & feed-through is the “secret recipe” that makes this knot secure.

Step 8:

Pull tight to complete the knot

Now, simply pull the loops to tighten the knot. The whole twisted mess of the previous drawing will rearrange itself into exactly the same finished knot as my Ian's Secure Shoelace Knot.


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Technical Details

Origin of the name

This knot is named after a parcel knot used in a boutique called the “Turquoise Turtle”.

Double Starting Knot

I've seen conflicting instructions for the first steps of the Turquoise Turtle Shoelace Knot.

Most knotting books show this knot beginning with a Double Starting Knot. However, some books suggest that this step is optional – and I agree. The “Double Starting Knot” can be used to tie any shoelace knot more tightly.

My instructions and diagrams for this knot therefore begin with the simpler regular Starting Knot. This also made all of the diagrams easier for me to draw and for visitors to understand.

Left / Right Variations

I've also seen conflicting instructions for the final steps of the Turquoise Turtle Shoelace Knot.

Some knotting books follow the above technique, which finishes with the right loop plus loose end passing through the middle. Other books follow most of the above technique, then finish with the left loop plus loose end passing through the middle. This variation makes the technique almost identical to Ian's Secure Shoelace Knot, which differs in that the loose end isn't fed through with the loop.

Patented Technique?

The Turquoise Turtle Knot technique is described in the following United States Patent – although the knot's original name is never mentioned:

(Kissner et al.)
Patent Number: 5,997,051
Date of Patent: Dec. 7, 1999

That patent date is long after the Turquoise Turtle Knot had already been described in knotting books and elsewhere, which likely renders the patent invalid on the basis of “prior art”.

Download patent (pdf) (via freepatentsonline.com)

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This page last updated: 09-Apr-2024. Copyright © 2005-2024 by Ian W. Fieggen. All rights reserved.

Website created by Ian Fieggen (aka. “Professor Shoelace”), inventor of the Ian Knot.

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