How to tie a Korean robe 옷고름

One of the first challenges at the Zen center was how to put on the gray guest robe. Thankfully, there was someone to show me.

The tie should look like a hanbok half bow with the ribbons of equal length.

고름 goreum, ties or ribbonsmonkrobe
옷고름 otgoruem, a coat string, a breast-tie
빗장고름 bitjanggoruem, a bow-tied ribbon
안고름 angoruem, inside tie-string (on a Korean coat)
가슴 부분의 장식 옷고름 breast-knot
옷고름을 매다[풀다] tie[untie] a coat string
한복 hanbok, Korean traditional clothes[dress]
한복을 입은 외국인 a foreigner in Korean garb


  1. Begin with the two ribbons, or goreum 고름, untied and hanging down. Cross the right ribbon over the left and then loop the left ribbon under the right, making a simple knot. Tighten the knot slightly, so that you have a bit of slack.
  2. Wrap the part of the ribbon that now hangs to the left of the knot around your left hand, holding your hand in front of your chest with your fingers pointed toward your right shoulder. This creates a loop around your hand.
  3. Grasp the other part of the ribbon by its center — not its end — so that it folds. Pull the folded edge of the ribbon through the loop. Remove your hand and tighten the loop by pulling on the folded edge. The final result resembles a half-tied bow tie, with the folded ribbon protruding from one side of the loop and two strands or ribbon flowing freely from the other side.

The knot should not be too tight, and the loop should be parallel to the ceiling.

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