How to Make Rope

Three Parts:Making Rope With a Basic TwistMaking Rope With a Reverse WrapProcessing Plants to Make Rope

Rope is made by twisting or braiding multiple strands or yarns together to form a stronger and more durable material. Rope has long been an extremely important tool for humans, as it’s used for tying, binding, pulling, dragging, and lifting. The art of making rope is very old, but today, many people would much rather go to a hardware or outdoor store and purchase a length of rope than make it by hand, but it’s nonetheless a very useful skill to have. Rope can be made by hand or with the help of a machine, and it can be constructed from many materials, such as natural plant fibers, plastic, paper, strings, wires, or basically anything else that can be cut into strips.

Part 1
Making Rope With a Basic Twist

  1. Image titled TieEachOverhandKnot Step 2
    Choose your material. Rope can be made from a large number of materials, many of which you may have lying around the house, yard, or campsite. Depending on what you have available to you, you can make rope from:
    • Plant fibers like grass, hemp, flax, straw, bark, nettles, yucca, and any other fibrous or vine-like plant.[1]
    • Twine, string, thread, or even dental floss.
    • Plastic bags or paper, shredded into strips.
  2. Image titled CutString Step 1
    Cut or gather your threads. Your thread could be a blade of grass, or a piece of string, or a strip of bark, depending on what you're making rope from. Make sure that all the threads are roughly the same length and thickness. For a thicker rope, you will need more threads; for a thinner rope, start with about six pieces of thread.
    • If you are working with a material like string, where you are cutting lengths, remember that your rope will get shorter as you twist it together.
    • With materials like grass and other plant fibers, you can easily splice in more lengths of thread later to make your rope longer.
  3. 3
    Tie your threads together. Lay your threads together so they are all lined up, and tie a knot at one end to keep them secured together. Then, divide the bunch into two even sections.
    • Once you divide the sections, the bundle will be in a V-shape that’s attached at the knot.
  4. 4
    Twist the two sections. Grab one section in each hand and begin tightly and evenly twisting all the threads in the same direction.[2] It doesn’t matter if you go clockwise or counter-clockwise, as long as it’s always the same direction.[3]
    • As you continue twisting, the two strands will begin to wrap around one another, forming a rope.
  5. 5
    Splice in additional threads to make a longer rope. For ropes made of plant fibers or grasses, it’s especially easy to splice in more lengths of fiber to create a longer rope.
    • As you near the end of your first bundle, grab two more sections of thread that are the same thickness as the original two.
    • Overlap the tails of the original thread sections with the heads of the new sections, making sure the tops of the heads actually extend beyond the tails, so that the new threads are anchored into place.
    • Continue twisting. Eventually, the twisting will wrap the new and the old sections together, giving you an additional length of rope.
  6. 6
    Tie the rope off. When you have finished twisting your threads together and have a rope of a suitable length, tie another knot in the end to prevent the rope from unraveling.[4]
    • If you are working with nylon or something similar, you can also burn the ends to melt them together and keep them from coming apart.
  7. 7
    Trim the excess. Especially with grasses and plant fibers, trim off any excess that’s sticking out from the rope, particularly where splices occurred.
    • To make an even stronger rope, repeat this process, and then twist those two ropes together using the same method to make an even thicker rope.[5]

Part 2
Making Rope With a Reverse Wrap

  1. 1
    Choose your material and gather your threads. The reverse wrap is another way to twist the threads of your rope together, but this method is otherwise very similar to the basic twist process, and begins with the same material choosing and gathering.
  2. 2
    Tie a knot and divide the threads into two sections. Just like before, you want your threads tied together into a single bundle and then divided into two sections that are joined at the knot.
  3. 3
    Twist and wrap the sections. To do the reverse wrap, hold the top of the threads (near the knot) in your non-dominant hand. With your dominant hand, grab the section that’s farthest away from you.
    • Twist the section away from you once. Then, bring it over top of the other section back toward you, grabbing it with your non-dominant hand and securing it in place (as though you were braiding with only two sections).[6]
    • Grab the new section in your dominant hand, and repeat the twisting and wrapping process.
  4. 4
    Knot the ends together. Alternate between the two sections all the way to the end of your threads, twisting away from you and then crossing the sections, securing the cord in place with your non-dominant hand as you go. When you reach the end, knot the ends to secure the rope together.

Part 3
Processing Plants to Make Rope

  1. 1
    Prepare grass. Ideally, you want tall, hardy grasses for a stronger rope, and the taller the grass, the less splicing you’ll have to do to make longer rope. Collect the grass and divide it into two piles. Flip one pile around so the roots are at the opposite end, and lay it down on top of the other pile so that half the tips are at one end and half the tips are at the other end.
    • You turn the grass in opposite directions so that there is thicker grass stalk distributed evenly throughout the rope.[7]
    • Once you’ve made your pile, grab either a thick or thin handful of grass, depending on the diameter you want your rope to be. Tie a knot in one end and proceed with your rope making.
  2. 2
    Process yucca. To turn yucca leaves into fiber for threads, cut the leaf from the base of the plant, and snip off the pointy tip. Lay the leaf on a flat surface and gently beat it with a stick or rock. As you beat the leaf, the fiber from the plant will begin to separate. Work your way up the entire length of the leaf until all the fiber separates.[8]
  3. 3
    Use nettles. Find nettles that are tall and dry. Cut down a few and let them dry out over the course of a couple days. Then, use a rock or stick to press against the stalks and open them up. As the stalks open up, begin peeling off strips of green fiber from the stalk’s woody interior. Set the strips aside, and when you are finished you can use them for rope.[9]
    • This method will also work for other woody plants that are tough but break open easily.


  • You can also make basic rope by braiding three threads together and tying the ends with knots.[10]
  • You can also make rope out of three lengths of string. Tie the end of each piece around something secure, such as a hook that’s fastened to a wall. Grab the other ends and slowly begin twisting all the pieces into a single cord. When you’ve finished twisting, place pressure at the center point with your finger and bring the two ends together. Allow the two halves to slowly wrap around each other, then tie them together at the top and bottom with a knot.

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