Thursday, March 20, 2014

INDN 341: Building a Rope.

In order to build the rope, I started off with three strips of carded wool, which in it's fluffy state, was at about 40mm in diameter. This is HUGE for making a rope. I therefore, when applying the PVA, had to ensure that I was compressing the wool down to a much more manageable size. This would then allow me to get the diameter of rope that I desired. It was pretty nasty work, but fun.

After I spread the slow-dissolving PVA onto the rope, I then hung the different "strands" of rope out to dry on the washing line. That's where they stayed for the next two days, losing the excess moisture contained in the wool to the Wellington wind. One thing that I discovered is that the moisture all collected in the very ends of the rope, so I had to cut them there, to make sure that the rope would work as effectively as possible as well as not stink of wet dog.

This is the difference between the now dried wool single strand of rope. The fibres have all been bonded together, and compressed, to reduce the overall diameter. The strand feels like it has a plastic-wool coating, as this was where the PVA did most of it's work. The individual strands adhering to each other through the polymer connections is what has (to my surprise) made the rope strands as strong as they are. It's actually pretty flippen' amazing.

After having my three strands, I tied them together at the top, and tightly braided them all the way to the other end, where I tied them to each other again. The braid should significantly increase the strength of rope again. It also has ended up looking beautifully old school, which I like. To encourage this look, I've decided to make loops in both ends and secure them with brass-like wire. This combination of a gold colour and the more natural material has worked quite well in compositions where the intent was to make the user feel sort of nostalgic for a time before their own.

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