Part I – Care and Selection

There are lots of different kinds of rope to choose from.  I remember the first time I went shopping for some rope I had no idea what to buy or even where to buy it.  I knew I wanted to try bondage and I knew there was something about rope and that made me want to play with it but I didn’t know where to start.

WHERE TO BUY

This is the easy part.  You can find rope almost anywhere.  Stop in  your local grocery store and check out the hardware aisle where they keep light bulbs and other non-food items like tools and car accessories.  I can almost bet there is at least one or two kinds of rope there and one of them is going to be 3/8 inch cotton or cloth clothesline.  If not you can always try one of the Marts…. Either K or Wal… both of them are going to have a sporting goods section and both of them will have “dock rope”.  Another option is a sporting goods store and… Of course there is always the favorite of every dominant… Home Depot, Lowe’s, or any other home improvement shopping center.

SELECTION

There are three main attributes for any given rope… Material, Braid, and Thickness.

Material – Rope can be made of a lot of materials but I suggest using nylon, cotton, or hemp.  I personally prefer nylon since it can feel silky soft, is easy to clean and it is much easier to finish the ends of a nylon rope than cotton or hemp.  No matter what material you choose for your rope, keep in mind that in most bondage scenes you will end up dragging this rope across their skin.  The rougher the rope the more sadistic the experience will be.

Braid – Rope can come either braided or twisted.  Both have their merits and drawbacks.  You will have to experiment to find what you like to work with.  I personally prefer braided since the knots come out looking sharper.

Thickness – When choosing your rope avoid anything thinner than 3/8 inch thick until you have a considerable amount of experience and feel comfortable with your knowledge of the rope.  Thicker rope is easier to work with as a beginner since it cuts into the skin less and the knots are easier to untie.  Thinner rope can cut into skin if tied to tight and can become very difficult to untie forcing you to cut and destroy your precious rope.

CUTTING AND FINISHING

After you get your rope home you are going to want to cut it into usable pieces.  Trying to tie knots in rope that is 50 feet or longer can be difficult unless you are doing a full body dress.  For the average beginner I suggest having at least 2 pieces of each length, 3ft, 6ft, 12ft, and 20ft in your rope bag before you start.  Combined, your play rope will be a total of about 80 feet or so.  You can easily cut that from one bundle of 100 feet or two bundles of 50 feet.  Save the extra rope for pieces, practice, or replacement for rope that gets cut.

No matter how you plan to finish the ends of the rope, before cutting any rope I suggest marking the spot you want to cut and then wrapping it in a few turns of tape.  This will prevent  your ends from fraying and make the rope easier to finish after you cut it.  You can use any kind of tape you want but I prefer blue painter’s masking tape.  It’s not too sticky and great for finishing nylon rope.  I try to twist the rope tight and wrap the tape as tight as possible before I cut it to ensure a clean end.  Use a sharp razor blade to cut the rope after you wrap it where you want to cut so you do not hack at your rope and leave the ends frayed and useless.

After cutting you will want to finish the end so it does not fray and become a tangled useless mess.  There are a few different ways to finish the end of a rope.

Whipping – You can wrapping a smaller gauge twine around the end to seal the end and keep it from fraying.  This is very time consuming but is very attractive especially if you use different colored whipping thread for each length of rope that you keep in your play bag.  There are many different ways to whip the end or your rope but here are a couple links to styles I like.

Dipping – You can dip the ends of the rope into a glue or tool dip and allow to hang dry.  Again this can be very attractive depending on choices of colors for dipping.  It can be difficult to get the ends of the rope to stay neatly bound together while the dip dries so try tying a thread around the end of the rope before you remove the tape to dip the end or your rope.

Cut and Burn – This only works with rope materials that melt instead of burning.  Since I tend to use mostly nylon rope, this is one of my favorite techniques.  After slicing the rope at the midway point through the paper tape wrapping, I take an open flame to the end of my nylon rope and melt the ends until the entire rope is sealed.  When you pull the tape off the melted nylon forms a smooth end on your rope that only needs a tiny bit of clean up to keep it from catching on your sub’s skin.(*insert tutorial link here)

STORAGE

When you are done for the day there are several ways to store your rope.  To prevent problems with your rope getting tangled in your play bag I suggest using a repeating chain (*insert link to tutorial here)

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