Handling – Using Up Extra Rope
Every tie requires a different amount of rope. Also, the same tie will require a different amount of rope when put on a different person. You have learned to extend your rope when you need more, but what happens when you finish the tie and have rope left over? How do you use it up—“burn” it—preferably in a quick and attractive manner?
This is a set of skills you want to build. If you leave the ends of your tie flopping around and uncontrolled, the tie will look unfinished. Your work will appear to be less skillful than if the rope is attractively used up and the ends locked so everything is a neat package.
Here are a few good options for shorter, medium and longer lengths of rope:
If you only have a small amount of rope left
Simply wrap the tail around any existing lines that are under tension. When you run out of rope, lock with a Half Hitch, or tuck the ends between some of the tensioned lines.
Example 1 – Short rope on waist band
Example 2 – Wrap stem (center vertical line) in a chest harness
Example 3 – Split the tails and wrap a strap on each side
This approach will take more time, but if you have plans for the stem or the stem has already been used for something, this approach is another way to get a nice clean look.
This can be helpful when the tail is joining a strap in a T junction where you have 3 straps coming together. This can be used for up to about 12-18” of rope or so, but much more than that an it becomes bulky and unattractive. This one is pretty self-explanatory once you get started, so…
This can be used as one option for the crossing lines on the back of the Hishi Karada. This option adds additional friction allowing you to precisely control where that knot lies. It can also be used as a decorative knot to finish a tie. In macramé, the extended form is called the Solomon Bar.
Repeat the process to create the Solomon Bar as one way to finish off a tie!
If you have a medium amount of rope left over
“Medium” means too long to use one of the “shorter” techniques above, but not long enough to go around your partner’s body. If it is that long, use one of the “longer” techniques below.
A classic technique for burning rope. Take care to not pull the shoulder straps together when doing this. It is easy to do this, especially if you are trying to use up a longer length of rope.
This works best if you have an odd number of straps to weave around, as is common for the upper node of a chest harness. This example comes from the Pentagram Harness.
This adds and attractive flair and is highly flexible.
If you have differing amounts of rope, you can use this technique in different ways to use it up:
If you know that you will have rope left over (perhaps you have done this tie on this person before, or perhaps you are nearing the end and can see that you have more rope than you need), you can add optional knots that consume more rope. For example, you can connect one rope to another with Cow Hitches instead of a simple twists. This can convert a medium amount of leftover rope to a small amount, which is easier to burn at the end.
If you have a lot of rope left over
…meaning enough to go around your partner’s body more than once.
You can simply add a new wrap or strap. Making long runs like this is a great way to quickly use up lots of rope. Important: this strap is not a functional part of the original tie. This is its own new thing that adds nothing to the security of the original tie.
If you know from the beginning that you will have extra rope (perhaps you have done this tie on this person before, etc.) you can burn some rope during the main tie instead of waiting until the end.
This example modifies the Shinju, adding an extra wrap to the upper chest strap.
This approach is often seen at the end of Gote Shibari / Takate Kote (“TK”) type chest harnesses.
When the tie has multiple straps, the tail can be attached to those straps with a series of Crossing Hitches. This adds a lovely decorative element to the tie while also consuming extra rope.
Go back the way you came or repeat something you did before! Here we have finished a Shinju but have a lot of rope left over. This time let’s double up on the shoulder strap!
Here is just one of many possible examples. In this example, we have a lot of rope left after tying a Shinju. We have already wrapped it around the stem to get the tail down below the lower strap.
This adds decoration and can be done in many ways. We have already done this between the shoulder straps (above). You could also do this between the lower and upper chest straps of the chest harness itself. But let’s do it a different way for this example, just for variety:
Example 1 – Keep the tail together and wrap asymmetrically
But , some people don’t like the asymmetric look, so….
Example 2 – Separate the lines of the tail and wrap symmetrically
You can use that tail to add some whole new element! There are many ways to do this. In fact, this is all that is happening to turn a Lark’s Head Single Column around the waist into an Unchastity Belt! We simply run the tail between the legs and tie it off.
You can exercise your creativity to add other fun elements. Let’s just invent here. This example begins where Twisted Figure-8 Example 2 above leaves off.
So, you have a situation where you have rope on your partner and what basically amounts to a leash leading from it. This can be wonderfully useful in tying them to something, so they don’t wander off… Perhaps to a chair or a bed or a strong post or beam!
There are myriad ways to do this. We won’t even try to cover them all. Many of the ideas on this site lend themselves to this. But we will cover one technique that can be useful for anchoring multiple straps to something.
In this example, you are anchoring your partner to a post using the tail from a chest harness using a Square Lashing or, as in this case, a series of Square Lashings: