How To: Make a Military Bugle Cord Decorative Knot

Make a Military Bugle Cord Decorative Knot

Bugle cords are used as elaborate ornamental leashes on bugles and trumpets, but they are also used as snazzy ornamentation, called aiguillettes (a type of fourragère), on uniforms worn by certain members of the military. While you could buy one pre-made, you could also make one yourself. But this should not be confused with the infantry blue cord of the U.S. Army, which is another type of fourragère only with more elaborate knotting.

Although the technique for making a bugle cord, or aiguillette, is really very simple, it isn't easy to find instructions on how to do it. In the first short video below, you'll visually see how simple it is to make your own bugle cord, the type used on military drum and band uniforms. There are no voice instructions, so you just need to follow along with the actions to try and make the bugle cord, chaining the line with half knots.

The type of rope depends on your use-case, but generally, ten feet of 1/4-inch (and sometimes 1/3-inch) solid cord that's either braided nylon, braided polyester, braided mylar, or braided silk. In some instances, braided cotton may do.

The second video highlights one use-case of a braided aiguillette. Specifically, it's "tying" the shoulder cord used by JROTC cadets.

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