Is one allowed to tie and wear a bow-tie on Shabbos?

Bow-ties are not intended to remain tied between uses (I'm not even sure if it's possible to loosen it and slip it off the neck, like one can do with a regular necktie). This generally means that the knot is considered a Kesher She'eino Shel Kayoma (non-permanent know), which would make the knot a permissible one to tie on Shabbos. On the other hand, it's possible that the knot itself might still be considered "too strong of a knot", which even though it's intended to be undone in a short amount of time, would still be forbidden (i.e. tying shoes with a double knot).

Related: Tying a Tie on Shabbos

  • I understood that the problem with tying relates to permanent knots and not bows, which are not permanent and aren't knots. (If tying bow ties are prohibited, we would lose our chazzan. He can't sing without wearing a bow tie.)
    – DanF
    Commented Aug 13, 2015 at 14:26

1 Answer 1


Halachipedia citing O.C. 317:5, and other sources, says:

  1. A bow-knot, slipknot, or a single-knot isn’t a true Kesher-bind and is permissible even if it does remain in place for a while. [21] For example: a ribbon on a gift, a single bind on a shopping bag or garbage liner.
  2. It is permitted to tie a slip knot or bow without a underlying knot even if it is tight and meant never to be undone. [22]
  3. After tying a bow knot (a bow on top of a single knot), as is common when tying one's shoes, one may not tie a second bow on top of the bow knot. [23] Others permit tying this knot since it can still be untied with a single hand by pulling on the end of the string. [24]


Many authorities hold that it is permissible to tie a necktie on Shabbat if one usually unties it within 24 hours. However, if one doesn't usually untie it within 24 hours, some say that if one intends to untie it within 24 hours it is permitted, while others write that one should tie it from before Shabbat and put it on and take it off by just tightening and loosening the side which goes around the neck, however, one shouldn't untie it on Shabbat

Having stated this, I am aware that there are a few ways to tie a bow tie as well as a regular tie. Looking at the diagram on this page, as well as watching how my shul's chazzan makes his bow tie, which pretty much follows the diagram, this looks like a slip-knot or bow which unravels quite easily with a simple tug. Based on that style of bow, it seems to match up with what Halchipedia says is permitted on Shabbat.

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