Knots for Bondage

Knots for Bondage

Knotting terms explained

Let’s talk about knots for bondage. The following are some of the terms peculiar to the art of knot typing and ornamental rope work you will come across whilst navigating a course through knots and knotting. By knot I am refering to a fastening other than a hitch or bend, that is made from rope or cordage. Rope, the term being used in its widest construction is made from almost every pliable material including horse hair, human hair, silk, leather, nylon and more modernly with a polypropelene inner core and a braided outer core of polyester in an assortment of colours. But generally it is composed of hemp, manila, coir (coconut husk), sisal, cotton, steel wire and copper wire. Though with natural fibres becoming harder to source synthetic fibres are rapidly taking over the market.

All ropes are measured by their circumference. The strengths of rope vary depending on the length of the fibres used. Taking the above the order of strength would be Manila, Sisal, Hemp, and Coir. The fibres are first twisted into yarns, the yarns are twisted (or laid) into strands, the strands are twisted (or laid) into rope. Ordinarily the yarn is twisted in one direction, the lay of the stardn is opposite to that of the yarn, and the lay of the rope opposite to that of the strand. When, however we want a flexible and unkinkable rope, the strand is laid in the same direction as the yarn, and the rope is then known as a “reverse laid” rope. Lifeboat fall ropes are made in this way.

The idea of laying up a rope is to keep it compact and prevent water getting inside, and also to maintain its circular shape. Manila ropes contain a natural oil that resists water. Hemp is always nearly tarred or oiled to make it waterproof, coir rope is light, has great elasticity, floats on water and is easily dried. Despite coir rope’s low tensil strength these properties make it useful for many purposes. The relative weights of ropes, size for size are Coir 1, Manila 1½, Hemp 2.

The tighter the lay of the rope the more it resists the entry of water, but the harder and less flexible it becomes. The hardness of ropes is adjusted to the purpose for which they are designed and we thus have “hard laid” and “soft laid” ropes. They can be distinguished by handling, or by noticing the angle the strand makes with the rope: the more it lies across the rope the harder the rope is.

Being a purest I like to use those derived from the vegetable kingdom and more especially to those made from hemp and manila. Though I have owned in my time some beautiful silk ropes which pass through the hand with a feel of totally sensuality and have I am told the same effect on the skin of the submissive. It is totally dependant on what pleases you, what effect or result you are aiming for, what sensation you wish the other person to experience, availability and of course economic consideration. Good rope like all things is expensive.

Hemp and manila ropes are divided into three classes and many nylon strand ropes are fashioned in the same way:

A Hawser-laid Rope, which is composed of three strands laid up generally right-handed (the direction taken by the strands in forming the rope runs always from left to right).
A Shroud-laid Rope, also laid right-handed, but consisting of four strands with a heart in the centre.
A Cable-laid Rope, which is composed of three right-handed hawser-laid ropes laid together left-handed, so that it may be said to consist of nine strands or it may be formed by three left-handed ropes laid up right-handed.

Terms

  • A bend, is the fastening used to tie working rope or cordage together.
  • A hitch, is the fastening used to tie rope or cordage to a spar, beam, ring bolt or the standing part of a working rope.

The rope or cordage has five parts:

  • The standing part, is the main part of the rope or cordage, as opposed to the end, or the working part.
  • The bight, is the open circle of rope.
  • The loop, is the closed circle of the rope.
  • The eye, is the inside of the loop
  • A locking run, is a single run of rope work. In many designs this is doubled or tripled.

There are key techniques used in all knots for bondage rope work:

  • Whippings, are used on the end of a cord or rope to stop it unlaying and fraying.
  • Common Whipping
  • Seaman’s Whipping

Base knots, because they form the basis of most other knots for bondage:

  • Overhand Knot
  • Reef Knot
  • Bowline
  • Single Sheet Bend
  • Figure Eight
  • Eskimo Bowstring
  • Monkey Chain
  • Twist or Plait Knot
  • Half Hitch
  • Clove Hitch
  • Lark’s Head
  • Constriction Hitch
  • Turk’s Head
  • End rope knots, prevent a rope from unreeving through a block or deadeye, and provide a hand-hold, a stopper or a weight on any part of the rope. Some of these knots for bondage are used for decorative purposes.
  • Crown Knot
  • Splices, a method pf joining rope and cordage permanently together by interweaving the strands of both. When ropes need to run through a block they cannot be joined by knots, as the knots for bondage would hamoper movement. Splicing is also used when a permanent eye is needed in the end of a rope or along it.
  • Back Splice
  • Slip knots for bondage, handy for quick release and safety in bondage play.
  • Quick Release Knot
  • Slipped Buntline Hitch
  • Hangman’s Knot
  • Carrier’s or Trucker’s Knot
  • Honda Knot

We will explore each type of knot in subsequent articles. Watch for our upcoming updates. In the meantime watch our bondage videos.

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