Frequently asked questions
It depends on your level of experience, and on what you want to tie. If you're just starting out - as most people asking this question probably are - I would suggest buying between two and four ropes. This will give you the flexibility to tie some basic harnesses, as most harnesses require at least two ropes.
An experienced rigger will typcally have 12 or more full-length ropes, plus a few short bits for finishing off ties. It's quite common for experienced riggers to recycle their old and heavily worn ropes to use as short bits for a future set too.
This is a really difficult question to answer, because it depends on how they're used and how they're cared for.
As studio owners we are in the fortunate position of being able to see how are ropes break in, how they age with use and roughly when they get worn out to the point of needing to be replaced. We have some people who tie regularly who still use a set of our ropes from five years ago. You should expect your ropes to last for about three years before needing to be retired.
There are however a few other factors that will affect this. If you only do floor-work, then the ropes will last much longer. You can significantly increase the lifespan of your jute ropes by maintaining them regularly. This includes ensuring the rope is hydrated (with a suitable treatment oil) and also straightening twists that appear near the bight. If you have the space, leave your ropes to hang at least once per month.
We used to joke that it's because the original Anatomie Studio was 7.5 metres long. The real reason for this is that you want the ropes to be about four times your arm span so that you can always pull the ropes through a space in just two smooth movements.
It used to be very popular to tie with 8 metre ropes, but this is in fact quite long for most purposes. You generally want to minimise the amount of rope you pull-through when tying in order to help maintain decent tension and speed.
We do sell custom lengths of rope as well for those who prefer them though.
We only well ropes finished with an overhand knot specifically do that you can untie that knot. While this might sound strange at first, it's important to realise that while we treat the rope for you it will still break-in during it's first month or two of use.
Sometimes when rope breaks in you'll observe a small amount of strand-imbalance, where it looks like one of the three strands is slightly longer or shorter than the others. When this happens you need to untie the overhand knot, balance the strands and re-tie the overhand knot.
Once your rope has broken in we recommend tying the overhand knot using the jute yarn, in order to get a knot that won't come undone and is as small as a thistle knot.
Shipping and Packaging
Yes. Our products ship in plain opaque packaging, which is either a black padded envelope or cardboard box depending on the size of the order. The shipping label does contain our address in small (as a sender/return address), which is just the postal address of our London studio. We have no logos on our packages.
International orders also have a customs label, which contains some details as to the contents. This is typically something non-specific like "jute", "rope conditioner" or "steel ring".
Orders are shipped every Tuesday and Thursday. If an order is marked as "in-stock" when you buy it then it's normally shipped on the next Tuesday or Thursday.
The only exception to this is our custom lengths of treated jute rope, which have a lead-time of 1-2 weeks as we treat our ropes in batches.
Shipping time depends on where we are sending your package.
UK orders are sent by Royal Mail Tracked 48, which is a 2-3 day service. You have the option to upgrade to Tracked 24 at our checkout, which normally arrives the next working day. Also if you spend more than £70 we'll upgrade you to Tracked 24 for free.
Orders to the EU usually take 3 - 8 working days, and you should not experience delays at customs as we send our EU parcels as duty-paid (meaning the customs import charges are automatically charged back to us).
Orders to the US and Canada take 4 - 9 working days.
The furthest we send orders is to Australia, and those typically arrive in 9 - 11 days.
This is something we care a lot about. We have been making changes to our delivery carriers and our own packaging to reduce carbon emissions and waste. Within the UK and the EU our packages now go by road (not air) using greener eco-start vans.
For orders that do travel by air we are careful to package orders responsibly, and always endevour to send orders in a single consignment whenever possible.
We ship to any address worldwide!
If you're in London we would love to welcome you to our studio, which is situated in a railway arch adjacent to Queen's Road Peckham station. We run regular rope jams and classes for beginners and advanced levels too.
We also recommend the online learning platform Shibari Study, which is a subscription service offering classes from a variety of teachers.
Is your question not answered here?
Feel free to send us a message and we'll get back to you as soon as we can..