Finishing Off Rope: My Solution
Another technique post :)
I’m not sure what blog I posted it on, but back when I was planning for the UK Slavegirl I asked about methods of finishing off Nylon rope.
Well, I finally got around to cutting all the rope today and attempting to finish the ends. (I’ve been putting it off, as it’s the most tedious part of the costume).
Before I cut all the rope, though, I experimented with a few different ways of finishing it off.
My original plan was to dip the ends in hot glue. I even bought a small little ‘pot’ specifically made for melting hot glue and dipping stuff into it. Well, I got around to opening it today. Plugged it in, waited a good 30 minutes, and it didn’t melt anything. It didn’t get hot. Read the instructions, and there’s no switch or anything - just supposed to be plugged in. Defective… So, that option was out.
So, I tried burning the ends. I wanted to see if I could do it neatly and without charring it too much. After cutting the end of the rope with scissors, the nylon frays; and I was able to melt it to where it looked halfway decent. Yet, it was still bulky at the end.
But then I took a look at how the company I ordered from finished off the ends of the rope. The ends were melted, but there was also tape on them.
So, I tried wrapping tape (I used clear packaging tape) around a section of rope. After I cut it in the center, I used a flame to melt the end of the rope. It melted it well and the packaging tape slightly pulled back from the end (curled back from the heat). I then removed the tape, and it was a much cleaner melted end. It only took about 1-2 more seconds of a flame on the end to make sure the edges were really sealed off.
Tedious, so tedious, but it actually worked and gave me a neatly sealed edge. It wasn’t bulky like the first time I tried it - the end was the same circumference as the rope itself.
I ended up going through two full lighters (I had a lot of rope). I used the lighters with the extended tube, not like a basic cigarette lighter. Tip: get one that’s comfortable to use. I just used the ones around my house, and one had a really awful safety mechanism. They all have those - where you must hold two things down at once (index finger on the trigger, thumb on the safety), but not all of them are comfortable. Some are a lot easier to hold down than others, and it’ll save your skin. Although I should probably be thankful I even had those lying around the house, because if I had to use my regular hand lighter, I’d be bleeding at this point.
So there you go. An entire blog post on finishing off Nylon rope. I suddenly feel I’ve reached the level of boring that Sherlock did when he analyzed 243 types of tobacco ash. But maybe it’ll help someone, somewhere, using nylon rope… whether it be for costuming, crafting, boating, or bondage ;D