Lark's Head Single Column [Level 1]

  There are 5 techniques you should learn before this one. Click here to add this tie as a goal and see them in order.

Notes and Resources:


This is perhaps the most fundamental tie in all of rope bondage. The two knots it uses -- a lark's head, and a half hitch -- are essential techniques that you'll see over and over in hundreds of different patterns. I recommend attempting this first around your partner's torso, or practicing it on your own thigh; it works best on a large part of the body with some padding for the rope to sink into.

If you tie this around a wrist or ankle, you need to hold a couple fingers inside while you're tying it, to keep it from getting too tight; that can be tricky while you're a beginner, so I recommend starting with the double column version of this tie when tying the hands.

While this is not the most fast and efficient column tie that exists, it does reliably produce a safe, non-tightening cuff (often even if you make minor errors). Beware that some commonly taught column ties which at first blush seem very fast and easy have the hidden drawback that they don't actually work, in the sense that when you pull on the rope and/or the bottom struggles, the cuff can tighten and constrict the limb it is tied on.

For a more advanced column tie which is equally stable and faster, but harder to learn, take a look at the Somerville Bowline.

Other resources


  1. userpic
    pleasedonotstop | Dec 23rd, 2016 3:20pm PST #

    Great video ! Just a question, can the 4 be reversed upside down (ie toward the bottom) making the half hitch goes in the other direction ? I ask because when done in other contexts (and in other direction), it's sometimes unclear in which sense the half hitch should be made. I wanted to be sure the knot is still OK.

    Reply to this comment

    1. userpic
      Topologist | Dec 23rd, 2016 6:18pm PST #

      Excellent question! It doesn't really matter which direction you tie the half hitch in -- one way or the other may lay flatter if you're pulling in a specific direction, but that really has more to do with how you dress the knot than anything. The only wrong way to do the half hitch is to put a bight under the cuff instead of pulling the whole rope under (I see that a lot), or if you don't get all the right stuff inside it.

      Reply to this comment

      1. userpic
        pleasedonotstop | Dec 25th, 2016 3:34pm PST #

        Thanks for the quick answer :)

    2. userpic
      jamaica85 | Apr 8th, 2018 11:56pm PDT #

      The 3D video link doesn't work.

      Reply to this comment

      1. userpic
        BubbleGun21 | Aug 20th, 2018 7:42am PDT #

        Which direction you form the "figure-4" on has a nifty side-effect; it will lend itself to the new direction of travel for the running ends. So, if form with the "peak" of the 4 up as in the video, the running ends will naturally want to flow DOWN, again as shown in the video. If you want the running ends to flow UP, then reverse the "peak" of the 4. :-)

        Reply to this comment

        1. userpic
          Tryptych | Aug 15th, 2023 2:47pm PDT #

          Why does there have to be nudity in the educational videos?

          Reply to this comment

          You must sign in to comment. It is free to create an account.

          We apologize for the hassle, but it is necessary to require accounts in order to prevent spam without employing 3rd-party services that could compromise your privacy. No personal information is required to create an account.