About our ropes
We only sell ropes that we use ourselves in our Shibari personal tying, for this reason we only sell single-ply, 4 and 6mm jute ropes - they are fast, light and with use become smooth and silky.
We sell two kinds of rope: natural colour and coloured. These come from two different sources.
The natural fibre rope, or 'Anatomie Rope' is from our own supplier and is made to resemble a cross between our two favourite Japanese ropes; Ogawa and Nawaya. For the connoisseurs, they are slightly tighter lay than Ogawa, but slightly looser than Nawaya, they break in slower than Ogawa but a lot faster than Nawaya. Our ropes are however very low in JBO content (the petroleum smelling oils that are particularly evident in raw untreated ropes), and are virtually smell free, especially after treatment.
The coloured ropes we sell are from Ogawa in Japan. They are similar to our Anatomie Ropes, but because the dying process involves 'wet treating' them (basically wetting the ropes), they are bendier at first use than our Anatomie Ropes.
Both the bendiness and the colour of the ropes come down to personal preference. Beginners usually prefer ropes that are 'softer', while the more experienced value ropes that they can break in themselves as this allows them to bond with the ropes over their journey. Many experienced riggers prefer to buy raw ropes in bulk and either treat the ropes themselves or use them raw and let them break in naturally.
Raw ropes can be difficult and even painful to tie with (for both partners), and it is for this reason that people prefer to buy ropes that have already been processed and treated. Ropes can be 'wet treated' or 'dry treated', but in order to wet treat ropes properly the ropes must be dried under tension or they become so bendy that they are basically unusable for Shibari. Because this process involves a lot of time and space, many people prefer to 'dry treat' their ropes. This usually involves a process of breaking in the ropes by rubbing it against itself to make the fibres more pliable, singeing the ropes over a flame to burn away the fuzzies, and rubbing waxy pastes or oils into the ropes.
The treatment process is not strictly necessary for the ropes, but it does make the ropes more user friendly and your fingers might appreciate you. The treatment process mimics the natural breaking in process that the ropes would undergo by simply tying with the ropes over time - which some experienced rigger choose to do.
The wax used in usually a mix of beeswax blended with either camellia or jojoba oil. Ropes can be treated without beeswax, especially if you're vegan, or if you prefer lighter ropes, then you can simply use camellia or jojoba oil. Both camellia and jojoba oil are commonly found in cosmetic products - camellia is lighter and rather running, while jojoba oil is a bit thicker with a slightly darker hue.
We treat the ropes for sale the exact same way we treat our own personal ropes, so you know you'll have a great quality rope in your hands.