Friday, October 14, 2011

rope sample packs from TwistedMonk.com

Are you just getting started playing with Shibari or Love Bondage, but having a hard time deciding what kind of rope to use?

Perhaps you are worried about natural fiber ropes and their potential to set off skin allergies?

Maybe you've noticed that natural fiber rope for Shibari/Love Bondage is expensive, and you want to be sure it's what you want before committing to a significant purchase?

What about folks who already own some nice rope for playful restraint, but are looking to add some specialized or exotic rope to their toybag?

There's one simple answer for all those questions - grab some rope sample packs from either one of a pair of the BDSM world's most respected rope makers - Twisted Monk and Maui Kink.  Problem solved!
TwistedMonk.com's Hemp Rope Samples 
For today's posting, we will detail the contents of the two sample packs offered by TwistedMonk.com - the Classic Hemp Rope Sample Pack, and the Exotic Rope Sample Pack.  Each sells for the nominal price of $2.49.

The classic sample pack has every size and standard color of Monk's own premium hand conditioned hemp rope offerings, garnering you multiple 6" lengths of his 4mm, 6mm, and 8mm diameter rope.

Those hemp rope samples will come in a variety of colors: Natural, Black, Crimson, Statutory Grape, and finally Sex and Violet.  I looked but could find neither Statutory Grape nor Sex and Violet on the artist's standard issue color wheel, but I can assure you the rope produced in those colors look stunning.

When I recently discarded of all the bondage rope collected and used in past relationships, I purchased the Monk's Kit to give my toychest a good basic selection of quality hemp rope.   I will be detailing and reviewing that purchase in the very near future here at SpiritualBDSM.com, but it shouldn't be too much of a spoiler to announce here that Serafina and I choose Sex and Violet for our rope's color.
Silk, Bamboo, and "OMG this is Hemp" Exotic Rope Samples from TwistedMonk.com
Twisted Monk's exotic kit has samples of his other more unusual rope products.  I would have said the exotic kit contains his non-hemp offerings, but among the exotics are yet two more varieties of hemp, "Bavarian Blonde" and "OMG this is Hemp?"

If Monk's regular offerings are considered to be premium quality hand conditioned hemp rope, the Bavarian Blonde rope would have to be called a super premium rope.  Instead of three twisted strands of hemp cordage, this German made rope has four strands, and it's twisted more tightly.  I'd guess it's stronger than an equivalent three strand rope, and it's tight four strand twist gives it a slightly different look and feel.  Very nice!

"OMG this is Hemp?" is unique to my personal experience, a lovely white hemp rope that is somewhat reminiscent of the white cotton clothesline I used for bondage back in the 1980's, at least in it's looks. The rope has a very touchable quality, it's soft and supple with a smooth feel.  Far superior to any cotton rope I've ever handled.  I'll be adding a few lengths of this rope to the Samadhi House toychest soon, so an in depth review should follow here in the not too distant future.

When speaking of a "touchable" rope for Shibari and bondage, the Handspun Bamboo sample from Monk is, without a doubt, the softest and most sensual rope I've ever handled.  Serafina enjoys just running her fingers up and down the length of the sample, it's really that good.  It's my understanding that bamboo fibers have a natural antibiotic property, and that bamboo rope washes well, making this the perfect tool for use in more intimate ties.  Another sure future purchase!

Rounding out the array of exotics from Twisted Monk's sample set are Handspun Silk and Handspun Silk and Bamboo ropes.

Surprisingly, the silk rope isn't as soft as the Handspun Bamboo, although it's a bit softer than the "OMG this is Hemp?" sample.  The Handspun Silk seems to have a bit more stretch than the other rope, and there is a sponge like feel, more give under compression, making this another interesting and unique offering.  It may also be one of the better choices for individuals with very sensitive skin, or skin allergies.

As might be expected, the Handspun Silk and Bamboo rope feels and handles exactly like the hybrid it is.  Not as stretchy or spongy as the pure silk rope, and not quite as soft to the touch as the pure bamboo sample, it's a unique offering in it's own right.

All of a rope's different characteristics can effect their best intended use, and no single rope is best for all uses, so what might seem at first to be an overwhelming variety is really in practice something more akin to an artist's palette.  To the bondage or Shibari master, each is a potential tool for them to work their own rope art and magic, with their desirability dependent on the artist's unique vision.

If the look of white rope is important for aesthetics, or for taking pictures in the style of vintage bondage and fetish artists like Irving Klaw, neither the Silk or the Silk and Bamboo are as bright a white as the OMG Hemp or the Bamboo ropes.  Traditional Shibari artists will probably want natural toned hemp rope, or they may even opt for another manufacturer's jute rope offering for even greater authenticity.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and all of these ropes are beautiful to me in their own way.

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