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What kind of rope is best for bondage?

This is the kind of question I come across all the time on rope bondage groups and at beginners workshops.

And the answer is, inevitably (drum-roll please):

It really depends on you and who you’re tying. Different ropes have different advantages, different pros and cons. What you like will very likely not be what someone else likes. There are very popular ropes – but it’s really up to you to make up your own mind.

There. End post. Answered the whole question, just like that.

And wasn’t it just frustrating as hell?

No. I’m not actually a dick like that. I realize that what I just wrote may be true, but it’s not actually useful. In fact, I’ve seen people exhibit immense frustration over such responses.  And to be honest, I’d much rather be helpful.

So I’m going to go into the pros and cons of a few different ropes. And naturally I’ll tell you which are my favorites and why, but at the end of the day I’ll leave you to make up your own mind, based on your own sets of priorities, which may very well be different from mine.

I’ll even include pictures! Aren’t I just the nicest?

I’m going to go over the kinds of rope pictured above, from left to right.  Helpfully, I’ve arranged them from cheapest to most expensive.

Important Factors In Choosing Any Rope

Let’s face it, price is a factor. It’s a really significant factor.

And this is why I strongly advise that you DO NOT buy your rope from Peaches and Cream or any other sex shop. That stuff is vastly overpriced for what it is. A Bunnings, Mitre 10, or other hardware store will have you covered for most things; the Internet will get the rest.

You’re going to need a decent diameter on your rope. The thinner it is, the more pressure will be concentrated on one spot, which leads to issues with circulation, nerve damage, general discomfort and bruising. Sometimes even scars, if the rope is thin enough and the pressure is applied forcefully enough. I recommend rope of 5 millimeters or above for safety reasons. I generally get rope of 5 or 6 millimeters in diameter.

Types of Rope

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Cheap cotton braid from 1-8 dollar shop.

Let’s start with cotton.

To your right is a picture of braided cotton rope from one of the many 1-8 dollar shops in the city. It is by far the cheapest useful rope I’ve ever come across.

Pros:

It’s easily accessible; cheap (3-4 dollars for 15 metres) it has decent tooth (essentially, friction; what holds your knots and stuff together), it’s washable, and it’s decently strong. It is possible to dye it, if you use a lot of dye (that pink stuff was originally intended to be red; the person dyeing it found using twice the amount recommended was necessary to get a better result).

It’s reasonably light, and you can carry a lot of it around with you if you like using lots of rope.

Because it’s a natural fibre rope with decent tooth, you can do shibari and other styles of rope that rely on friction over knots, which is pretty great. You can take some great pictures with it; the rope in these pictures is that same cotton braid.

Cons:

It’s a real pain in the ass of a rope for a beginner, because the knots compact down like you wouldn’t believe. You can spend ages trying to unpick those things, which leads to swearing and frustration and a general lack of cool. The times when I’ve felt it most likely that I would need to use safety scissors to get someone out of rope, have all been times when I’ve been using this kind of cotton rope. So if you’re going to use it, keep those EMT shears handy. (On the plus side, it’s not expensive to replace when you do cut it.)

There is another type of cotton rope I’ve seen, which I picked up at a Mitre 10 a couple years back for fairly cheap. I’ve included a picture for reference, so you can distinguish between the two.

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Two kinds of braided cotton rope

 

They’re both technically braided ropes; however the rope on the right seems to have a denser kind of braid, which means it doesn’t have the same issue with the knots compacting down as hard as the stuff from the 1-8 dollar shop. I’m reasonably sure all the advantages from above apply to this rope, though it’s a tiny bit more expensive; I think I got that bundle for about 8 or 12 dollars at the time.

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Relatively easy to unpick

Summary

In summary, cotton is pretty great for most forms of bondage other than suspension. You can do a lot with it, it’s cheap, washable, etc. Just make darn sure to keep those EMT shears handy and be prepared for a bit of swearing and frustration over the knots if it’s a loose braid.

 

 

Next we have a polypropylene webbing.

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Polypropylene with core intact
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Polypropylene Webbing (core removed)

It’s a synthetic rope; this means it has a very different level of tooth than the cotton rope or a natural fibre. It’s very smooth, with almost no tooth, which means a lot less friction, making it a slicker, faster rope. In general, most synthetic ropes are like that, to one level or another.

This is actually a hollow braid kind of rope; meaning it’s a polypropylene braid wrapped around a core of something. I found it at a Bunnings Warehouse. It wouldn’t ordinarily have gotten my attention, because it looks fairly obviously too stiff for use as bondage rope. However, as I examined it, I realized that I could probably remove the core. What was left wouldn’t be as strong, but it might very well be suitable for bedroom tying. I was in an experimental mood, so I bought some and took it home with me. Wasn’t terribly expensive; maybe 15 dollars for a bundle?

I wouldn’t use this stuff for bondage at all with the core intact. It’s just stiff and cumbersome and not fun. However, once I removed the core, that changed things considerably (If you want to know how to remove the core, send me a message or something and I’ll update).

Pros

It’s very light, very smooth, very fast. I could whip this around someone’s wrists into a column tie in nothing flat, with little to no fear of friction burn.

The knots made by this rope compact down quite small; however, it tends to remain relatively easy to unpick. Again, this is related to the lack of friction. This is pretty cool because you don’t get bulky, unsightly looking knots.

PHOTO_20150722_150135
Small knots; sits flat over skin

It comes in a range of different colours (I like black).

It’s incredibly light. With the core removed, a single hank of it weighs almost nothing. You can carry a lot of it around with you.

It’s not hugely expensive.

It has this really interesting feature; with the core removed, it actually sits quite flat on the skin, which is why I refer to it as webbing. This has multiple advantages; it spreads any pressure from the tie over a wider surface, and it doesn’t catch on things when you’re rolling around, struggling, what have you. You need fewer wraps to get a safe distribution of pressure.

I don’t see why there would be any issues washing it other than tangling; you wouldn’t have to dry it under tension because it’s not a natural fibre rope. It won’t shrink (might want to use a cold wash though).

Cons

This is a very thin plastic webbing; it is not something you want to get too close to a naked flame, because it will melt. I strongly suspect that if you get droplets of hot wax on it,  that it will cause stiff melted crackly bits in your rope, and that’s just not going to be pleasant for either the person tying or the person being tied.

It’s not particularly strong with the core removed. It works well for bedroom bondage, but I wouldn’t put it under heavy load.

Due to that same lack of friction as mentioned above, you can’t really use hitches or friction based means to lock off tension the way you can with natural fibre ropes of greater tooth. You’re going to need knots, which will take a tiny bit longer.

It’s not dyeable; you’re stuck with the colour you buy.

The combination of the lack of weight and the lack of friction means it’s going to slide a bit over skin. Your ties may not stay in exactly the same place as you put them, riding up or down, etc.

It’s not particularly aesthetic. You don’t get great photo worthy ties with it; though you still get a restrained person, which is always good, and may be all you want in your photo.

Summary:

If I was going to use this rope, I’d basically stick to your more simple column based ties for restraint. I wouldn’t bother with trying to get something to look particularly pretty or to do a complex tie. That said, for restraint, this will generally get the job done. The knots used in the single column and two column ties which I posted about earlier will do a solid job of holding things in place, but feel free to use anything that isn’t a slip knot.

Next we have a Zenith All-Purpose rope, which is a solid polypropylene braid.

PHOTO_20150722_145117

This is another synthetic rope, and has many of the same properties of that rope mentioned immediately above, particularly in regards to friction. However, there are some advantages and improvements with this one which I will go over.

Pros:

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Both breaking strain and rating provided

As a solid braid, this is much stronger than the polypropylene webbing mentioned above. However, more importantly, this stuff is rated. It actually has a recommended load and a breaking strain on the label at Bunnings, which is where I got it. Which is fantastic! It’s always great to have some idea of exactly how much your rope can take.

For our purposes though, what’s great about this rope is the way it feels. Which is basically incredibly soft and smooth, but with enough solidity and weight to it to give it a real feeling of authority when you put it around someone’s wrists, legs, what have you. It feels basically like nylon rope, but is nowhere near as pricey. When I last used it in a lesson, the model exclaimed over how nice it felt.

Again, it comes in different colours. I like green and silver, other people may prefer red and silver, or may be able to shop around online to find a solid colour braid.

Reasonably cheap; comes in different diameters and you can get bundles of it for not a bad price, or you can measure off the lengths you want right from the spool.

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Not terribly pricey at Bunnings

Cons:

Basically all the same cons as the one just above, with the addition of bulkier knots due to the increased thickness of it. Weighs more than the one above, but that’s not a massive issue.

Summary:

This is actually one of my two favourite ropes. If I’m not doing shibari, if I’m doing a quick restraint or column tie for sexual or other purposes with no care for the aesthetic, then this is my go to. Smooth, soft, fast, secure. It actually makes for a decent looking harness over black clothing or similar; I saw someone wearing it at a perversion party once with some fancy Two Knotty Boys knots in it.

Nylon Rope

I don’t actually own any of this stuff, because I’ve never felt the need. I had my Zen rope for quick synthetic ties, and I later moved on to focus on natural fibres. However, I snapped a couple of pictures of it while I was at Bunnings. I can’t give you as thorough a break down on it, but I made some observations.

PHOTO_20150715_144130
Nylon at Bunnings

Pros:

This is a twisted rope; it gives you different kind of rope marks than braids do, and has a different sort of aesthetic to it. It’s a favourite of Two Knotty Boys; most of their videos depict nylon rope being used.

PHOTO_20150715_144136
Good flex and texture

It is considerably stronger than the Zen rope I just mentioned; and again, is rated. Apparently it is often used as boat rope, so I’d say it’s fairly hardwearing and durable. Likely to get a very good life span with it.

It feels really soft and smooth; very good flex, too. Likely to get quite compact knots with it.

Very washable.

Cons:

As synthetic ropes go, it’s a bit pricey. Nowhere near as pricey as the better natural fibre ropes, but it’s further up there than the previously mentioned ropes.

The same goes for this as the other synthetic ropes with regards to friction; you will need to use knots.

Summary:

If you’re looking for good restraint rope and enjoy using knots, this is probably what you should go for. Again, not recommended for shibari, but everything else goes, and I’ve heard that there are actually dyes which will change the colour of nylon. As I’ve only ever seen it in white, that means you should get a good result if you decide to go down that route. Research your dye carefully though.

Hemp Rope

Hemp is one of the natural fibre ropes that is commonly used for shibari. It’s generally pricier than anything synthetic, and my understanding is that it’s used a lot over in the US. It usually comes in twisted form as opposed to braided. I sourced mine from Blue Box, but I don’t know where they sourced it from.

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Pros:

Has really excellent tooth; you can feel quite certain that your hitches etc will do the job to hold things in place. Far fewer knots required.

It’s generally quite strong; you can usually put it under heavy load with minimal fear of stretch or breakage unless its obviously frayed.

Goes well with the traditional shibari aesthetic; has that natural, organic kind of look.

Works well for people who like that element of discomfort in their bondage, as it tends to be a bit scratchier than synthetic ropes. You can really feel the friction on your skin.

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You can almost see the scratchiness

Cons:

Unfortunately, the anonymously sourced stuff I got has an annoying tendency to shed fibres. Nothing I’ve done to it has fixed this. It may be because it’s sort of a short fibred rope, or it might just be the stuff I got hold of.  But every time I’ve used it, whatever I’ve been wearing or my partner has been wearing has wound up dusted in the stuff. It also makes things more likely to be itchy, sneezy, etc.

I’m fairly sure that there is much nicer hemp out there; I’ve spoken to people from the US who have raved about the good stuff they have, and the great scenes they’ve done with it. Sadly, I don’t yet have any. Though I am eyeing some up, from a better supplier.

Summary:

Look, to be honest, by the time I got this rope, I was already a little bit spoiled by the next rope. So I’m not exactly unbiased here. Hemp will do the job, and do it well – but you might want to source it from a known and trusted supplier, as opposed to an anonymous source (a “learn from my mistakes” moment!)

Tossa Jute

Jute rope is another favourite of shibari enthusiasts, and is extremely popular. Also quite pricey, it comes in a variety of lays (“lay” refers to how tightly it’s twisted together). The tighter the lay, the stiffer and more durable the rope tends to be. Tossa is actually a pretty tight lay, which means it needs a bit of extra conditioning or a long period of break in time before it’s really good to tie with, due to that extra stiffness. That said, spending a bit of time breaking in your rope isn’t really that onerous.

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5 millimetre tossa jute

Pros:

Jute is similar to hemp in that it has excellent tooth; no issues whatsoever with using hitches etc. Very few knots required.  All the same pros as hemp, basically, with a few more thrown in.

Jute makes for extremely good photos in it’s un-dyed state. It generally has very clean lines, and has a sort of compelling aesthetic to it which honestly can make a person fall in love with it. Knots that look so-so with cotton or synthetic somehow look amazing with jute.

It has a sort of liveliness to it. Excellent give and flex, and there’s something truly awesome about the way it moves in your hands and when you’re wrapping it around someone. It makes the experience of tying someone a lot more fun.

Durability; Tossa Jute can take a lot of use before it begins to wear. Because of the tight construction, it also doesn’t tend to “high strand” or deform with strands moving out of place. You don’t need to spend a lot of time maintaining it after the initial treatment.

It actually polishes up and becomes shinier and smoother with use.  That’s right, it doesn’t degrade. It IMPROVES.

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Above; undyed five mil tossa jute; below, 6 mil dyed tossa jute

It takes natural fibre dye surprisingly well, given the already existing golden colour.

Has a really, really nice smell – sort of earthy and warm.

Knots are not at all difficult to unpick; because of the compactness of that tight lay, it doesn’t tend to squish and become difficult.

Cons:

Price: Good jute tends to be fairly pricey. I got my first set of five millimeter jute from Jade Rope (fairly large set, about 80 metres) for about $113.00 Australian dollars before shipping. I don’t remember exactly how much I paid in NZD, but it was between $150.00 to $180.00 with shipping included. The second lot of jute I purchased (200 metres, 6 mm) cost a lot more, but I was treating myself to a “savings milestone” so I’m not too upset. It was very good quality and exactly what I wanted (Blue Box).

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Approximately 100 metres left of my Precious

Again, when washed, boiled etc it tends to degrade. That doesn’t mean you can’t do it; it won’t catastrophically weaken your rope, but with successive washes I would start keeping a much closer eye on how much load I put on it.

You need to dry it under tension, or it will shrink and thicken unevenly.

It’s not as fast as some synthetic ropes; because of the higher tooth, it will travel more slowly over skin and clothing. There’s also a greater likelihood of surface abrasion and friction burn if you move it really quickly or with great pressure.

Summary:

Look, this is probably my favourite rope, with that synthetic Zen rope as a close second for bedroom purposes. Tossa jute is just freaking amazing, and has given me very much the results that I wanted, when I wanted them. Yes, I had to break it in fairly extensively; but once that was done, it’s always served me well. It looks great on a person, particularly after it’s shined up, and is just a really sweet, responsive rope that does pretty much whatever I ask of it. Hemp never stood a chance, because jute got to me first – as far as rope goes, it’s my one true love. And tossa especially, because it’s highly durable with low maintenance. Exactly what I need.

So, to sum up the whole post:

At the moment, my two favourite ropes are the Zen all purpose  for quick column ties, and Tossa Jute for absolutely everything else. I really value it’s incredibly good performance and aesthetic.

But what I like really isn’t that important.

Different people will have different priorities. Those who care less about appearance or who are less attracted to shibari may go down the nylon route. Many may be satisfied with cotton. And tastes and priorities may change, which is cool.

I hope this post was useful for people wanting to learn about the different types of rope!  Any feedback regarding usefulness etc would be greatly appreciated 🙂

25 thoughts on “What kind of rope is best for bondage?

  1. Comment test

  2. What is your recommend method for washing your rope, more specifically nylon or polypropylene? Thanks!

    1. Hi daphnaeae,
      For a lot of situations you can get away with using a damp rag or wet wipe to wipe down the dirty section of rope. However, if there’s more intensive cleaning needed, a cold wash through the washing machine should work well, as long as you have your ends finished. Be warned, it can come out tangled! There will be a post in about two weeks going into further detail on cleaning, including how to deal with wax

  3. For someone starting out, what would you say is a good starting length to get, and how many seperate ropes would you suggest? (i.e. getting a few meters and cutting it by quarter then getting another meter without cutting it for more complex single rope ties and so forth

  4. Okay, starting out; I’d recommend maybe five lengths of 7-8 meters, and 3-4 lengths of shorter rope, maybe 3 -4 meters. The shorter rope makes for a good way to finish ties without using up massive amounts of rope, and also makes for good quick wrist or ankle ties without having long lengths left over.

  5. I’m surprised with the lack of attention for nylon. Jute indeed does seem to cross the bridge between the pros of both natural and synthetic fibers and that makes it invaluable, but in my experience, when it comes to tying with synthetic materials, nothing trumps nylon. It’s durable, strong, takes little very time to break in, it bends well, the sheen of it is beautiful, and feels great against skin, and of all the materials I’ve had and used with rope bottoms, nylon is the most popular synthetic rope by far. Polypropylene is cheap but it also feels very industrial and raw on the skin of most people, and that can be very unsettling and mood-breaking for bottoms.

    I think it also bears mentioning in this post that choosing your rope is also a decision made by the rope bottom. I was constantly recommended hemp when I started, and my girlfriend was excited to be tied up for her first time, but session after session she just could not get comfortable in hemp. I tried a few different sources for my hemp as well, but wound up switching to polypropylene while visiting a Menards and discovered she was a synthetic fiber lover before upgrading to a more comfortable nylon from an online vendor. I wasn’t going to continue using a rope type she didn’t enjoy on her, because it ruins the quality rope time we could have, even if I kinda liked using hemp with how well it naturally holds together. So the rope bottom definitely has a lot of input into this decision, and for good reason.

    1. Thanks a lot for the input Nic! I can understand the surprise to the lack of attention on nylon; as you said, it’s a very popular choice. Honestly, I simply haven’t experimented with it yet, and I’d feel a bit dishonest if I was to go on about nylon when I hadn’t used it at all. I can pretty much guarantee that when I do get a set, I’m going to wind up reviewing it in a post; and I hope it’s just as much fun as you make it sound – definitely something to look forward to!
      You raise an interesting point about who chooses the rope. I can’t say that I would ever leave that decision entirely in the hands of the rope bottom; at the end of the day, we’re all equal partners, and I think both top and bottom deserve equal input into choices like that, so that it’s a pleasant experience for both parties. That said, I get your point – if your partner isn’t having fun in the rope you’re using, then there’s not a lot of point in using that rope! I think it was a very wise call investigating the synthetic ropes and then switching into nylon. Can you recommend a vendor?

      1. It definitely is. There definitely seems to be a preference amongst different rope bottoms I’ve spent time with, some prefer synthetic fibers, others like natural material (not too many prefer coconut rope haha!). It’s fascinating, and it definitely played a part in deciding what to tie my girl with. My personal preference is jute, it’s just so versatile. Handles well like a natural rope, but has the visually appealing aesthetic of synthetic. But jute gets pricey, and I get most of what I want out of nylon.

        Perhaps the synthetic vs natural is something worth penning an article on?

        I had a lot of input in the decision, but it was just something out of our hands. When the natural rope was on her skin, it just didn’t feel right against her, and I could tell when we tried. We adjusted, and now my hemp collection makes a nice homemade under-the-bed restraint set. 🙂

        The vendor I used was epicrope.com, for the sheer price value of it (50 cents a foot). I like their jute, but their nylon leaves a little to be desired. Right now I’m eying nylon from Erin Houdini and her site. I get very artsy with my ties, and the sheen and choice of colors offered from her site seem promising for photography.

        1. Oooh. Yes. I like that it’s UV reactive… A lot of fun could be had with that

        2. Hi Nic, Hi Pete,
          thanks a lot for the info.
          I’m a complete newbie and was planning to get some nylon rope like this one:
          https://www.uline.com/Product/Detail/S-12867/Twine-Rope/Solid-Braided-Nylon-Rope-1-4-x-500-White

          One thing that hasn’t been mentioned is the diameter of the rope. Is 1/4 enough or should it be thicker? I’m asking more from a comfort/blood flow point of view, rather than a load point of view. (tensile strength of 1100lbs seems like enough!).

          Cheers,
          Ben

          1. Hi Ben,
            Typically 6mm and above is what you want in diameter, so you should be absolutely fine based on my quick Google conversion (I typically don’t use inches)

  6. I’m just starting out into the world of rope, but I jumped straight into solid braid nylon. It feels amazing to tie and it feels great on (from a self tie). I admit that I do want to work up to jute once I know what I’m doing more, but for now the nylon is so fast and easy and silky smooth. I first started practicing with paracord. 😬 It works, but doesn’t look great. And talk about rope burn! I love this site so much – such great info! Thanks!

    1. Ouch, I never even considered using paracord! Maybe it would be useful to create a “not to use” list… I’m really glad the site is helping out, and thanks for the review on nylon – I feel like you guys are adding enough information that I probably won’t even have to!

      1. I actually really like paracord for VERY SPECIFIC uses. Head or hand ties. I imagine hair ties, though none of the people I tie have long hair. Genital ties.

  7. I have found that the best rope type depends a lot on what you want out of the rope. I started off with twisted nylon, which was fine but I got frustrated with the lack of friction pretty quickly, plus I lusted after the natural ropes (mostly jute) used in shibari- the bright white of the nylon never did much for me. Before long I found myself some VERY reasonably priced, very good quality jute on etsy (myNawashi, for anyone who’s curious). I processed it according to some instructions I found online and that was all I tied with for a while. I loved it, my partner loved it, we had some amazing sessions.

    Well, I’m a sucker for exploring EVERYTHING about something, once I start, so I picked up a roll of hemp from Rawganique, processed that, and tried it out, and it was INCREDIBLE. Seriously, so much better than the jute. The rope is softer textured- it’s true that it wears in like a pair of jeans- and is more… relaxed than the jute. Even jute that has been used frequently is very firm and has some spring and stiffness to it- the hemp is more limp, for lack of a better word, and has more give in the rope (NOT stretch, just compresses more), which also means that it conforms a little more to the body of the bottom.

    HOWEVER, this is a huge matter of taste and what you like to do with your rope! My partner and I only do floorwork and bedroom bondage (so far) and use rope mostly for restraint and pleasure. Neither of us is into “mean” rope or rope primarily for pain. My partner is more comfortable in the softer rope and I find it easier to create the kind of connection we both want with a gentler rope. It provides just as much restriction with a very different feel- someone who wants more pain or a tougher experience might prefer the jute, and someone who is into bondage photography DEFINITELY wants some jute- it photographs SO beautifully, and its sheen can’t be beat. Also, I’ve heard hemp unfavorably compared with jute, saying that the hemp feels “lifeless” in comparison. I’d say that is not an unreasonable comparison, but that it is not necessarily a bad thing- jute is springy and light and hemp is heavier and more relaxed.

    My only complaint about hemp is how difficult it is to find cheap sources of prepared rope. Thankfully, it’s very easy to work your own up- Rawganique has a great raw product, and it doesn’t require a ton of work to prepare it. Don’t be afraid to try out different kinds of rope, especially if you’re just starting out. You may find that a different kind of rope provides something you didn’t know you were missing!

    1. Holy crap Tess, that’s a hugely informative comment! That is exactly what I love finding on my blog! I have a pet theory that my own hemp didn’t work out simply because it was probably sourced by a poor manufacturer – but it sounds like Rawganique is a good place to look. Was there anything specific about your treatment of it that you’d recommend to others?

      1. My first batch, I followed this process and got a VERY soft rope that is pretty heavy:

        -Unroll the length from the spool, working slowly and picking out woody bits and stems as you go
        -Cut the rope into lengths that will fit into lingerie bags (I had a 1kg roll and cut it into two pieces)
        -Run through a machine wash with Oxyclean. I ran this batch through twice because I wasn’t sure about the smell, and all the guides I read said that boiling or washing thoroughly should lessen the smell. ***Put your rope in a monkey braid or something first! Makes life much easier later***
        -Run the batch through a dry cycle on the dryer.
        -Take the rope out and dry under tension. I just wrapped it around a garment rack. Stretch it out as you go. I happened to not be able to get back to it for a week, but a day or so should make sure it’s completely dry.
        -Pull the rope against itself through a carabiner or ring. There are a million instructions online how to do this.
        -Closely examine the rope and remove any more hard bits. Use tweezers if necessary. It also helps to untwist the lines of the rope if you find one that’s wrapped around in the strands
        -Singe the fuzzies off. I use my gas grill. There are also a million instructions online for this.
        -Oil or wax to your specs. I used the same jojoba oil/beeswax blend I used on my jute, and it turned out too waxy, but worked in just fine after a few uses.
        -Finish the ends to your preference- I did sailmaker’s whipping using embroidery floss (I color-code my lengths and when I prep ropes for people I play with) and it has not budged at all, but knots would be just fine, too, if you like.

        I’m in the process of working my next batch and this is how I’m changing it- I’ll keep you posted when I see how it comes out…
        -I didn’t wash it at all this time! I’ve come to like the smell of the natural help, and the smell wasn’t very strong on this batch, apparently it varies from batch to batch.
        -I am going to use only jojoba oil and no beeswax.

        I’m expecting a rope that is a little stiffer, possibly a little scratchier, and quite a bit lighter without the beeswax.

      2. To answer your question more specifically, these are my takeaways so far…

        -Some guides you’ll find recommend boiling your hemp for anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours. DON’T! It’s not necessary and will result in a rope that might be softer than you want and is significantly weaker than what you started with.
        -Go over your rope carefully several times to pull out the hard bits.
        -Be very careful when adding oil or wax. It’s easy to over-wax and hard to get rid of the extra quickly. Hemp doesn’t need very much at all.

        1. That’s amazing. Those are really clear and useful instructions for treating hemp, and from what I’ve read, the treatment does differ somewhat from treating jute, so it’s really valuable to have that information handy. I have a bunch of paracord that I was planning to use for building a whip, but I might keep a few lengths handy for hair ties. Hey Tess, do you mind if I create a “guest post” and copy and paste your review and instructions for treating hemp? Not everyone reads comments, and I think it’s valuable information that a lot of people might benefit from.

          1. Go ahead! You should probably proofread it first, there’s at least one typo in there… 🙂

          2. Thanks very much, and no problem. Want to send a picture of your hemp? I’ll use it as a “featured photo” at the top to illustrate the outcome of the treating process and what the hemp looks like.

  8. You might find this info on rope choice and care, especially if you are interested in natural fibre ropes specifically for bondage: http://www.esinem-rope.com/rope-choice-care/

  9. I’m delighted to see how much you love my Tossa jute! If you want a more flexible version, try Tossa Lite Natural or, even more so, the standard Tossa Lite. The fibre is not quite as clean but it can be used without wet treating, especially the standard Tossa Lite.

    In another league again is Osaka, which is a fine single yarn, very Japanese style rope 😉 http://www.esinem-rope.com/jute-rope/

  10. Thank u for the detailed descriptions. Thia will definitely make it easier for me to figure out how to start.

    1. Well, typos aside, thank you…

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