Rope Care – Cord Coiling

Coiling cord after it has served its purpose avoids wasting time untangling and untwisting cords. Avoid finding that cords have become one single birds nest of cord and a messy twisted mass. This can be avoided by simply coiling cord around your hand and cinching it together. When finished with the cord and ready to pack, the cord should be coiled away in a way that it does not ‘remember’ it’s twists.

Coiling cord

The way to achieve this is by wrapping each loop in the opposite direction by tracing a figure 8. Simply wrapping in continuous circles creates a continuous twist in the rope or cord. Instead of looping circle after circle, rotate the hand and draw the cord in.

This can be done by following these steps:

  • With one hand, grip the end of the cord between either the little finger or the thumb.
  • Coil the cord creating a figure 8 between the thumb and little finger.
  • Then, with a length of cord between one half and a full arms length, take a bight of cord and wrap it around the middle of the ‘8’ about 5 times.
  • Then, take a bight from the working end and push it through  either the top or bottom set of loops which make the ‘8’.
  • Take the loop that has been passed through and wrap it back over to the middle of the ‘8’.
  • Finally, pull the single strand of the working end tight to cinch the entire cord together.

Unravelling the cord simply involves pulling the loop which is cinching the others together back over the set of loops and shaking the cord free. The cord will stay together as a single untangled item, be free of any twists and ready for its next job. See here for knot terminology.

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