Douglas Kent Custom


Wondering how much rope you should buy or what length of rope to buy? To answer those questions and more, read our FAQ!

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Douglas Kent Custom rope is possibly the best deal for high-quality jute rope on the planet. Nowhere else can you order such high-quality rope with so many customizations at such a low price.

Our standing rule is “quality trumps quantity”. We’ll never rush rope out the door until we’re satisfied that it’s the best it can be. We’re so serious about quality that we’ll limit orders coming in before we rush orders out. And because our crafters work full time, they’re already well practiced before they start with your rope.

Our customizations allow over 98 million combinations. Naturally, some combinations make less sense for you than others. We’ll make exactly the rope you order, but we’re not mind readers, so make sure you go over your order carefully before submitting it. If you find all the choices intimidating, consider ordering Douglas Kent Classic or Lightning (or using those as your starting point for customization).

 

Rope Color

"Natural" or "Blond"? Dark or light?

Choose "Natural" for a rich coffee color. Choose "Blond" for a light wheat color.

Both ropes are the exact same except one has been lightened. Natural has more color variations, giving it beautiful, complex tones. Blond is a more consistent color, with a light, happy look.

For photos, natural gives slightly better contrast and brings out skin tones, while blond lets you better distinguish your rope from all the others.

Chocolate or vanilla? Dark wood or light? Whichever you choose, you're getting the exact same rope, so your choice is just one of color. Either way, you'll get the same beautiful, fast, high-quality jute!

And if you can't decide, choose your favorite whipping color, then choose the rope color that best accentuates it!

 

Whipping color

The whipping on Douglas Kent Rope comes in a huge array of colors, so you’ll never again confuse your rope for someone else’s! Glow-in-the-dark is only available for the dead center mark.

We use 2-strand cotton thread because it securely grips the jute and resists movement.

 

 

Center mark

Rigging styles like shibari start from the center of your rope. To let you find the center of your rope more quickly, we offer thread marking. Each mark is a 4-wrap Sailmaker’s Whipping that cinches the thread firmly in place.

Center marks are placed dead center of the rope, as measured from the inside of the end knots.

Offset marks are on either side of the dead center. When finding the center solely by feel, offset marks give you a more distinct tactile message than a single mark.

Widely spaced offset marks with no center mark give you the benefit of finding the rope center quickly, while being less obtrusive for, say, photography.

You may customize the three marks with up to three different colors. You could have a signature color or a different color for each set! Be inspired by your sports team, a flag, your partner’s eyes, or your favourite colors. Be subtle or bold!

Note: Ropes with two bands don’t have a center color; ropes with one band have only a center color.

 

End knots

Douglas Kent Rope offers a huge range of termination knots.

Although our rope is 3-strand, some of the knots we offer have 4, 5, or 6 strands. To make these, we bundle the 3-strand rope together, separate the bundles into 4, 5, or 6 strands, then tie a new knot. These knots are time consuming, but the results are very beautiful. To our knowledge, no other vendor offers this feature without extra cost.

We whip most of our knots to keep them extra tight. You'd be hard pressed to find another vendor that offers whipped knots at all.

But we go one step further! We whip on one side of the knot, pass the thread through the center of the knot, and whip on the other side. Using this technique takes extra time but makes the whipping really secure. 

Whipped ends use an 8-wrap Sailmaker’s Whip.

 

Tassel length

Tassels are measured from the end of the whipping. Standard is 2 cm. Choose 3 cm for a more organic (wabi sabi) look; 1 cm for a neater appearance.

 

Singeing

Douglas Kent Ropes are pulled through a brush to lift loose fibres, then gently passed over a natural gas flame to singe off stray fibres.

We offer unsinged ropes in the spirit of offering you lots of customization options, but we strongly recommend singed rope.

 

Rope conditioning

Rope conditioning lightly lubricates the rope fibres, making the rope softer. Rope conditioning also improves handling by reducing jute’s tendency to dry out the rigger’s hands.

Rope conditioner is a highly personal choice, with no clearly superior method. If in doubt, choose mineral oil.

Mineral oil is colorless, odourless, and never spoils. We use only cosmetic grade mineral oil. Jute doesn’t absorb mineral oil, so this treatment leaves the rope feeling lubricated.

Coconut oil is a type of edible oil extracted from the meat of coconuts. It is a solid below 25 °C, so in cooler climates, it will remain a solid until it is exposed to human body heat. Douglas Kent Rope uses only virgin coconut oil. Jute absorbs coconut oil, so this treatment slightly expands the rope and leaves it feeling softer.

Coconut oil is arguably the best feeling treatment, but due to its propensity for going rancid, we recommend this treatment only if you use ropes so heavily that they wear out in about a year. Coconut oil oxidizes, but slowly, and can turn rancid in up to two years, but possibly less. If you use your rope heavily, you may find your rope will wear out before the coconut oil expires.

Mineral oil and beeswax are heated, and then mixed to form a much softer wax. The wax/oil mix is spread on, then gently heated to penetrate the rope fibres. The wax in this treatment leaves the rope lightly tacky.

 

Conditioner quantity

As more rope conditioner is added to rope, the rope transitions from dry and stiff to soft but slippery.

We recommend 1 mL/m for slightly stiffer rope or 2 mL/m for slightly softer rope. All treatment volumes produce usable rope.

 

Rope softening

Jute is a vegetable fiber made from jute plant. The fibers are spun into thread, then into rope.

As you use your rope, the bending motion will make it progressively softer. Our rope is very usable as bondage rope, even without any treatment of any kind. However, it may be a bit stiffer than you’d probably like.

Softening systematically twists, turns, and bends the rope across its entire length, leaving it easier to work with. Double softening works the rope over a second time, but won’t make it twice as soft. If you want your rope to feel soft and familiar the first time you use it, choose double softening.


Rope Lengths

Douglas Kent Rope measures its ropes from inside the knots.

We feel that the inside-the-knot length best represents the usable length of the rope.

If we measured unfinished length, then adding any end knot would shorten the rope below its advertised length. Worse, different end knots would make finished ropes inconsistent - some end knots require a significant length to create (and significantly different from other knots).

Our inside-the-knot length helps keep different sets more consistent with each other.

 


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