I am looking to replicate the decorative knotted rope seen below in the title pages of the Aubrey/Maturin series (pictured below)Title page with decorative knotted rope . There are many examples of mathematical knots on TeX.SE but I can't find any artistic, 'nautical' knotted ropes on this site or the LaTeX symbol list. Can this be replicated in LaTeX?

  • The knot looks like a bitmap image (instead of a font character or a vector drawing that you might find in an ornament package). If you can find such an image in a file of the right dimensions and of sufficient quality then you can just use the image file in your document, and it will look good when printed or when viewed at 100% zoom or less - it may not look good on high zoom levels though.
    – Marijn
    Aug 18, 2020 at 19:51
  • 1
    Or, you can have a look here (tex.stackexchange.com/questions/17181/…) and make your own adjustments. Aug 18, 2020 at 19:54
  • Incidentally, this particular knot is known as a "reef knot" (the German Wikipedia entry for "Kreuzknoten" has an IMO nicer picture), which is an extremely common knot in sailing. This may be helpful in searching. Aug 19, 2020 at 11:33

1 Answer 1


Actually I found a freeware TrueType knots font that has some nice knots. To use this font you must compile with XeLaTeX or LuaLaTeX and have the font either installed as a system font or place the .ttf file in the same folder as your .tex file.


\setmainfont{EB Garamond}

\vspace{5mm}\scalebox{2.0}{{\knot R}} % or \knot l

\Large Patrick O'Brian

Result with {\knot R}:

enter image description here

{\knot l}:

enter image description here

If you want to know which letter corresponds to which knot then you could use for example http://www.asciitable.com/ to look up the numbers given in the chart on the font website (in the decimal column of the ascii table), or open the font in FontForge, see the screenshot below for two rows of the character overview window from FontForge.

enter image description here

Note that I used EB Garamond as main font because it looks a bit similar to the screenshot in the question, however this is just for illustration and you can change this to any other font that you like.

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