How to Make a Manila Rope

How to Make a Manila Rope
Manila rope is made from manila hemp, which actually isn't hemp at all. The fiber comes from a relative of the banana tree. Much of the rope in the world used to be made out of it, but it has since declined to a rope-making fiber of minor importance. However, the skill to make rope from strands of manila fiber remains a useful one that can be applied to a variety of fibers, and not just manila hemp.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Spool of manila hemp Pocket knife
  • Spool of manila hemp
  • Pocket knife
Step 1
Cut three lengths of twine off the spool of manila hemp with a pocket knife. These should be roughly twice the length of the proposed rope.
Step 2
Pluck some threads from the hanging end of the spool of manila hemp. Use these treads to tie off the ends of the three strands cut in Step 1.
Step 3
Place all three sets of manila twine next to each other. Take up ends from all three sets, and tie them off with more thread so they form an even bundle. This is the base of the rope.
Step 4
Hold the base with your left hand, using the thumb and fingers to clamp it. Reverse the hand usage if you are left-handed.
Step 5
Use your right hand to take one strand and twist it over to the left, while wrapping it on the outside of the remaining two strands to the right.
Step 6
Hold the work of Step 5 in place by moving up and clamping it with your left thumb.
Step 7
Repeat the twisting and wrapping of Step 5 with a second strand. Clamp with your thumb when finished, as in Step 6.
Step 8
Repeat Step 7 to twist and wrap the third strand.
Step 9
Keep repeating Steps 5 through 8 until the entire set of strands are braided into a rope.
Step 10
To finish, bind the other end of the rope with thread as was done in Step 3.

Tips & Warnings

For extra durability, tying off the ends of the rope into knots or dipping them into a substance like tar or resin is a good idea.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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