Pankou knots, also known as frog closures, are a key element of the traditional qipao dress. These Chinese button knots often serve as ornamental accessories on an otherwise classic, minimalist dress.
How they are made
Most pankou knots for a qipao dress are typically made of silk, or the same material as the dress. The material is turned into a ribbon that is then folded into the variety of pankou knot shapes that you see, and sewn together on the back to retain its shape.
Wiring is often used inside for more elaborate shapes that require its shape retained.
Where it’s worn on the qipao dress
The pankou knot is placed at the center of the mandarin collar of a qipao dress, and then along the diagonal slant to serve as buttons for the dress. Traditionally, this was also how you get in and out of a qipao dress. Nowadays, qipao dresses often have zippers in the back for convenience, so these pankou knots are truly made as an accessory. You can even find some qipao dresses where the pankou knot goes all the way down the side of the dress.
Most popular pankou knot for wedding qipao dresses
The phoenix tail pankou knot is the most popular adornment on a wedding qipao. Chinese weddings are rife with symbolism, and the qipao dress is no exception. The phoenix represents the bride at a Chinese wedding so it makes perfect sense to also add the phoenix tail as a pankou knot on a wedding qipao dress.
Types of pankou knots
Making pankou knots have become an art form, so they range from simple single-knot pankous, to more elaborate floral designs. These Chinese button knots come in many different colors, shapes and sizes, based on the style of the qipao. Typically, the fewer pankou knots you have on your qipao dress, the more complex you can make each knot. If you have several pankou knots along your qipao dress, then we recommend going with something more minimalistic like the straight pankou knot.
Simple Pankou Knot Styles
Elaborate Floral Pankou Knot Styles
UUnique Pankou Knots On a Qipao
Here at East Meets Dress, we’re a fan of pankou knots for good reason. They are a beautiful addition to the traditional qipao dress and allow you to truly make your qipao your own.
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- Shop our collection of modern wedding qipaos.