Cotton rope is one of the most common types of ropes in Shibari. Although this is Japanese, cotton rope is not for Japanese shibari; rather, it is frequently for the Western version. The material of the rope varies in the style of shibari you will be practicing. This material is usually the most recommended rope for beginners because the price is pretty accessible and it is easy to work with it.
Cotton Rope: the Pros
Cotton rope has many positive things to it. It is a natural fibre rope and it is cheaper than other materials common in bondage. This kind of rope is pretty soft, so it is most unlikely to burn the bottom. (And people really appreciate that, if you can believe it!) This is a great material for holding your knots and stuff together thanks to the friction it has. However, depending on the type of cotton, some ropes are hard to unknot.
There are two types of cotton ropes. Both are braided, but one has a denser kind of braid than the other one, which makes it easier to untie. You can wash cotton ropes, and even dye them with your color of preference. However, they are not that strong, so we do not recommend them for doing suspensions. Cotton ropes are also light-weighted. Thus, you can carry them around easily—and a lot of them if you require so.
Cotton Rope and Decorative Shibari
In addition, cotton ropes are great for decorative shibari. For example, dyed ones look great on a decorative shibari scene. Natural one has a classic color which can suit an elegant and classic scene perfectly. Similarly, since you can dye cotton in any color, it allows everything to become more detailed and colorful. The color and size of the cotton rope in a decorative shibari scene varies depending on the design that the decorative ties will have.
So cotton rope has its positive and negative things, it is important for you to consider every aspect of the rope to choose the correct type for the shibari style you will practice. Another option, for example, is the yute rope.
Image: Material District