Chinese Rope Art


Single stranded rope - with a rope connecting the arm spirals.

This series is an extension of the single stranded - basic form tutorials that demonstrates a rope connecting the arm spirals.
While the method of tying the wrists is different from that shown in either example 1 or 2 of the "single strand - basic form" tutorials, that is irrelevant to the demonstration of the arm spiral connecting rope.  Any method of tying the wrists could be substituted. 

image 1

Start by making a simple overhand knot in middle of the rope and placing at the back of the neck with the running ends going over the front of each shoulder.  The loop should be large enough that it extends 4 or 5 inches down from the back of the neck.



image 2
Wrap 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.  
image 3
 Wrapping the arm.
image 4
When you complete the last spiral before the wrist, run the rope end under the spiral and pull it fully through.
image 5
Close up view of the running end passing under the last spiral. 
image 6
Do the same with the other arm.

This creates a bit of a 'lock' that prevents the spirals from coming undone.  You will see this done quite often on Chinese sites, particularly when using single stranded rope.  While there is some benefit to this 'lock', I am not convinced it adds much in terms of the functionality or security of the tie.  It does create an uneven bump on each wrist that may be uncomfortable.

image 7
Pull both running ends away from the wrists. 
image 8
Wrap both ends around both wrists, coming around the front wrist, underneath the wrists, and up between the back and wrists.  Do this at least twice so there are four strands of rope running across the top of the wrists.  

Note: While a 3rd or even a 4th wrap could be done, they would probably do little to increase the security of the tie and only would add to the overall bulk of rope around wrists. 

image 9
Pass the ropes up between the wrists and cinch them by making a full circle around the wrists.

Note that this cinch is not truly necessary as another cinch will be created later (see images 11 & 12 below).  It gives a little bit of added security, but if the rope seems bulky, there is no harm in forgoing it as long as you complete the later cinch.

image 10
After creating the cinch, run the rope up and through the loop at the back of the neck.
image 11
Pull the rope through the loop and back down between the wrists.
image 12
Circle between the wrists to the other side (creating a second cinch) and start wrapping the vertical stem.

If you didn't cinch above, this would be the primary cinch. Either way, be sure it is smooth and flat as you begin to the start wrapping the vertical stem.

image 13
Pass both ends through the loop created by the compression of the stem ropes below the bottom of the original neck loop
image 14
Run the rope over to and behind the middle spiral loop on the upper arm.  
image 15
Run the rope over to the middle spiral on the other arm, passing behind the vertical stem.  Run the rope under the spiral (from top to bottom) and back to the loop in the vertical stem
image 16
Continue wrapping up the vertical stem and tie a square knot.
(see detail by clicking on image 16 to the left)

Note:  This series shows the rope running around the front of the vertical stem.  It would probably have been better to pass the rope through either of the two loops before continuing with the stem wrapping.  This would eliminate the possibility of the first wrap slipping up or down the stem.

image 18
Close up view of the connecting rope and vertical stem wrapping.
Finished tie - back and front views.
image 17
image 20
image 19


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