Choosing Your Bondage Rope

When practicing Shibari here in the Philippines, you’ll likely come across two main types of rope belonging to two categories—there’s jute (which is a natural fiber rope) and there’s polypropylene (a synthetic type of rope). Both are typically cut to 7-8 meter lengths for easier tying: they’re not too long that they take forever to pull, and not too short that you’re constantly joining pieces of your rope together.  

Jute rope (a.k.a. asanawa) is the traditional choice for Japanese Shibari. These undergo a treatment process to make them gentler on the skin during bondage and need to be regularly maintained using rope wax/oil for continued use. This makes them more expensive. Wetting your jute rope is highly discouraged since this can affect their durability so try your best to keep them clean. 

Polypropylene (affectionately, “synth”) rope has no problems with water and is more suited for play that involves bodily fluids as opposed to jute since these can be easily washed with soap and water. Do note that their stretchiness and lack of tooth compared to jute means their frictions are harder to keep in place. Research or ask local practitioners about how you can adapt to more knot- and lock-oriented techniques to avoid having your rope accidentally slide/slip when you don’t want them to.

As always, never hesitate to cut your rope if your partner’s safety is on the line!

When you can, read the articles below to better understand the effects of the rope’s diameter, material, condition, and more on things like their durability, the weight they can support, how they are cleaned, etc.!

References & Recommendations

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Esinem writes: “I explain in simple terms the differences, how much work, if any, they need to properly conditioned and generally how it performs.”

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Minor differences in the material and diameter can have big impacts on the strength, texture, and handling. Find out which kind works for you in this article by EpicRope.com!

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Minor differences in the material and diameter can have big impacts on the strength, texture, and handling. Find out which kind works for you in this article by EpicRope.com!

Article

Minor differences in the material and diameter can have big impacts on the strength, texture, and handling. Find out which kind works for you in this article by EpicRope.com!

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Topologist’s page on Crash-Restraint.com goes over the differences in diameter, construction, color, length, and more.

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Wykd Dave shares some solid insight that should give most practitioners pause before claiming that they are allergic to a certain kind of rope.

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Ebi McKnotty writes: “So you wanna tie your partner, or get tied yourself? You saw beautiful pictures on the internet, and the first thing that came to your mind is ‘I want to try too?’ But to get started, you need to get some rope!”