Which rope material is right for me?
There are basically three different types of Shibari ropes.
- Artificial fiber ropes, so-called plastic ropes
- Jute and hemp ropes
- Cotton ropes
In addition to these, many other materials can be used, for example coir rope (if you want really uncomfortable ropes) or even linen.
The most traditional, popular and recommended material is either jute or hemp. They are natural fiber ropes and when pulled along the skin, the friction does not burn the skin like plastic ropes do. Which one you want to use is a matter of preference. In terms of thickness, shibari rope is usually 5-7mm thick. The thinner the rope, the smaller the knots, but on the other hand, thin rope sinks more into the skin and the breaking strength is lower. That’s why the most common shibari rope is 6mm thick.
Material pros and cons
Synthetic fiber rope, i.e. mfp rope
+ Very durable
+ Can be used in water and washed
– Burns the skin with its friction very easily
– Knots stay worse
Jute and Hemp
+ Traditional looking
+ Does not burn the skin with its friction like plastic ropes
+ Knots and friction joints hold
+ Suitably rough skin feel
– Not suitable for bindings related to water
– Washing weakens the rope
+ Easy availability (from every sex shop)
– Knots tighten too tight
– Often too flexible
– Not suitable for pendants
How long is the rope?
The most common shibari rope length is 6-9m. In Western countries, 8m rope is commonly used, while in Japan, 6m rope is perhaps more common. This is due to the genetic size difference between Western and Asian people. In addition, when hanging, the upper hanging rope is often longer, for example 10 m long.
So-called half ropes, i.e. 4m ropes, are used as extension ropes if there is a need for a shorter extension. However, you don’t need many of them.
How many ropes?
The number of ropes needed is affected by the type of tying and the size of the person being tied. Based on experience, I would say that the minimum amount is 4 pieces of 8m ropes. Simple basic bindings can be tied quite well with that amount. However, we recommend at least 6 pieces of 8m ropes for everyone, because four ropes run out quite easily. In Shibari, the ropes are extended as needed and sometimes 8m is too long for an extension rope. In these situations, it’s nice to be so-called half rope, i.e. 4m rope. However, you don’t need many of them, for example two 4m ropes are often quite a good amount.