Thinking about buying some bondage rope? If you are, you won’t be alone this weekend.
First time thinking about buying rope? Again, you won’t be alone this weekend.
Headed to the hardware store because you want that rope - in - a - hurry?
Sounds good. But you may want to think about what’s going to work best for you ahead of time. You know, to avoid that awkward moment when the helpful salesperson asks you what type you want then, in attempt to assist you better, asks you what you want it for. See what I mean?
Think of fiber as the rope’s texture and appearance. It’s what the rope is made from, so fiber determines the look, texture, pliability, smell, and overall aesthetic. The four most common fibers used in bondage are hemp, jute, nylon and MFP.
Thanks to the fact that its natural, hemp offers great smell and texture. It’s soft but strong. It ‘breathes’ and bends, tucking itself into the contours of the body. The texture makes it easy to secure knots and this rope adjusts to varying tension levels.
Bonus, it has great old-school appeal, making it easy to imagine you’re being bound by a pirate or roped by a cowboy.
Notes on hemp:
- it can be put through the washer but looses strength with each washing.
- it looks wonderful in person but is hard to photograph.
- its more expensive than the other commonly used roped.
Jute, the other natural choice, is nearly the opposite of hemp.
This fiber starts out very strong, sturdy and rough. This makes it a favorite of those who prefer edge in their rope play. That same firm texture makes it hold knots very well and photograph really well.
Bonus, this rope is light and so travels well. And yes, it also has that old school appeal of hemp.
Notes on jute:
- it has enough grip to stay in place, but not as much as hemp. As a result, careful tensioning is required when using jute.
- it can be tricky to wash and must be stretch dried to retain length.
- it requires careful selection when purchasing. Be sure to ask about the weave, as loosely woven jute will not last very long.
Nylon and MFP (multi-fiber polypropylene)
These are manufactured, oil-based ropes, so cost quite a bit less than the natural alternatives. Because they are not natural, they maintain their round shape consistently and over a long period. They both wash easily and can be used in the water.
Something to consider, they don’t hold body heat. As a result, some users find these feel less natural and say they fell disconnected from these ropes.
Bonus, these fibers comes in many bright colors, are super shiny and photograph great.
Notes on nylon and MFP:
- in regard to weight, they are about the same as jute.
- they are very strong.
- they can be tricky to use as they are slippery so tension can be difficult to control.
A good diameter to start with is between 4mm-8mm. 7mm and 8mm are frequently selected due to strength and comfort. Obviously, strength is very important when considering suspension. Also, the thicker ropes are easier on the skin and, as a result, are the better option for longer bondage sessions.
Thickness impacts rope stiffness and weight. Thicker ropes are more stiff. The stiffer the rope is, the less pliable it is. Therefore, knots and intricate patterns can be difficult. Thicker ropes are also heavier and, consequently, more difficult to transport.
In regard to length, consider what the rope will be used for, ie, simple wrist ties or full body suspension, and the size of the person being bound. The North American standard is about 30 feet, with 15 foot spares. The Japanese have a more complicated system of deciding rope length, basing the decision on the measurements of the rigger. The idea is to use a length that the rigger can work with easily and fluidly. That measurement is typically between 23 and 27 feet with 12.5 foot spares.Not buying any rope for yourself? No worries. In an effort to make this knowledge useful, take yourself to the opening of FIFTY this weekend, reread your tattered paperbacks, and check out what they use, see if you would have made the same selections.