Chinese Rope Art


Double stranded rope - basic form - example 1.
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Fold a length of rope in half and then find the middle of this now double stranded rope.  Place the center of the double stranded rope at the back of the neck with the running ends going over the front of each shoulder.
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The rope draped over the back of the neck with a running end over each shoulder. 
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Start wrapping the rope in a spiral around one arm, running the rope between the body and arm from the front, around the back of the arm and around to the front again.

Note: When the tie is complete, a fair amount of pressure can exerted on the rope passing over the collarbone and under the arm pit.  You may want to leave some slack in the rope running around the front shoulder and at the back of the neck in order to avoid discomfort later on.   

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Continue wrapping the arm.

The number of spirals is a matter of choice.  Most often you will see 3 spirals on the upper arm (above the elbow) and 2 below the elbow.  However, 3 and 3 or 2 and 2 are also seen frequently on Chinese bondage sites.  This example uses 3 and 3.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The comfort level of the tie is greatly influenced by how tight the arm wrappings are pulled.  Wrap the spirals more loosely to increase comfort.

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Finish wrapping both arms.  Take care to lay the ropes flat without any twisting.

Note: When first starting, it is probably easiest to wrap each arm separately.  With practice, you can stand directly behind the person and wrap both arms simultaneously.  This greatly speeds up the process, but requires the cooperation of the bindee.

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You will end up with both running ends going around the inside of each wrist and pointed toward the ground.  One will be between the two wrists, the other on the outside nearest you. 
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Align the arms so they are even and parallel to the ground.  Slide the wrists past each other as much as possible to avoid tying ropes around the wrists themselves.
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With the ropes hanging straight down (image 7), grab both double strands and wrap them toward the body and then up between the body and wrists. 
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Continue wrapping with all 4 strands of rope across the top of the wrists and then down.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  There many possible ways to tie the wrists using both the double and single stranded ropes.  There is no one 'correct' way.  Possible variations using double stranded rope that would occur at this point are detailed in the following links:

- cinching wrists before creating the vertical stem
- cinching wrists with a knot

Other variations are discussed below or in the other examples. 

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You will come around the front of the outside wrist, under both wrists, and then up between the wrists and body a second time.
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Pull all 4 ropes up to the rope behind the neck and run them between the neck and rope.

Note: You can greatly influence the severity of the tie by the amount you pull the wrists up between the shoulder blades.  If the bindee is very flexible, it is possible to pull the wrists up so that they form an X pattern.  This can add great deal of pressure to the rope running around each shoulder, over the collarbone and under each arm pit and can be quickly become very uncomfortable.  Remember, this tie originated as a method of securing prisoners and it can be easily made very uncomfortable.

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Run the 4 strands down to the wrists, around the outside of the front wrist, and up between the two wrists.  Care should be taken to keep all 4 strands of rope relatively flat to minimize the amount of bulk between the wrists.  

Instead of passing the rope up between the wrists on the way back up, you could run them fully around the bottom of both wrists and up between the back and inner wrist.  For a detailed picture of this option, click here.  This would avoid some of the rope bulkiness between the wrists.

Another alternative way of tying the wrists with cinching after creating the vertical stem is detailed here.  


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Wrap the 4 strands up the vertical stem keeping the stands flat and neat.  It does not matter if you wrap from left to right or right to left.
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When you reach the top of the vertical stem, run one of the double strands through the loop that was created.  This allows you to change direction of one the double strands in order to easily tie a basic square knot.

This example shows the rope being passed through the loop from the front.  The same result can be accomplished by passing the rope through the loop from the back of the stem - pictured here using single stranded rope.

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Up close view of one double strand running through the loop and the other behind.
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What the ropes will look like after pulling one double strand through the loop. 
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Now wrap the rope that went through the loop behind the vertical stem so that you end up with the two double stranded ropes going in opposite directions. 
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A close up view of  the double strands now running in opposite directions.
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 Finish by tying a square knot.
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 A view of the finished tie.

Return to the double stranded rope examples
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