Fancy Ropework: Three Strand Grommet

Every adventurer needs to have some ability with ropework and knots. Why is that? Because knowledge is weightless and the more you know the less you’ll have to carry. Along that line, I’ll be posting about some useful knots and rope handling that’ll help you outdoors. Today I present to you, rope grommets.

What’s a grommet? No, it’s not a cute claymation canine. It’s a circular bit of tough material used to reinforce material. A rope grommet can have so many other uses, but first let me show you how to make one.

Start with a length of three strand rope about three times the circumference of the grommet you want. Carefully unwind the rope into the three component strands. See how it remains kinked according to the twisting pattern? This is important.

Take one strand and make a ring. Start twisting one side according to the pattern already laid into the fibers until this side runs out. Repeat on the other side.

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Making grommets is a good way of reusing expired rope.

For now you have a two strand grommet. When you come upon the end of the one side, keep wrapping and then you’ll have a three strand grommet. Tuck the ends in somewhere out of sight.

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A proper rope grommet, ready for use. Can you spot the end?

At this point the grommet can be used as is, but I added a bit of common whipping to the end bits to keep them from fraying. I used the only thing I had available: cotton kitchen twine. A bit of tape works equally well.

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Unnecessary, but good practice: a bit of whipping to keep the ends neat.

So what can you use these grommets for? Of course as napkin holders or to hang frilly curtains, but this is an adventure blog! Use them for hanging sails on masts, as handles to a treasure chest, tie off points to a fence post, ring toss camp games, or archery targets at your next medieval reenactment event.

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The rope grommet has dozens of uses. Make one for yourself and find out!

One advantage a grommet has over a simple loop of rope is the lack of knots. This way there are no weak points in the rope and it is simple (albeit slow) to untie.

Give it a try. I’m sure you’ll find a dozen uses for them. And don’t forget, resourcefulness is the best preparation.

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