The 7 Best Shibari Ropes to Get Wound Up in Knots

Jessica
by Jessica
best Shibari Rope in test
If you’ve been looking for a way to combine bondage with beauty, you need a set of shibari ropes! Based on the Japanese practice of Hojōjutsu (a way to restrain prisoners using rope), shibari is practiced by people around the world, offering an alternative to traditional BDSM using bondage rope. Whereas Western restraints tend to focus on limiting a person’s movement using knots, shibari instead utilizes patterns, wraps, and friction to restrain a person. Perfect for bondage enthusiasts who also have an artistic side, shibari offers a unique sensual experience to those willing to attempt it. Keep reading to learn more about this style of BDSM (as well as the best ropes you can buy to give it a try!

Why You Should Trust Our Reviews of Shibari Rope

Here at Bedbible, we cover a wide variety of sex toys & sex-related topics. Whether you’re looking for a new dildo or an in-depth breast bondage guide, we aim to be your one and only source on the journey to better sex. Of course, that requires a high level of trust from our readers. As a company, we’ve tested over 300 different products and continue to test more, using a diverse combination of staff and freelancers to expand our operations. Unlike other sites that focus primarily on turning a profit, we’ve made sexual education our primary goal. As such, you can read about both the benefits and drawbacks of every product we recommend, rather than receiving a sugarcoated overview that fails to address any issues that a particular item might have. Honesty is the best policy, so you can always trust Bedbible to tell it how it is, even if doing so is counterproductive to our commission-based affiliate system. Thanks for reading!

Why You Should Trust Our Reviews of Shibari Rope

Shibari Rope Materials

We’ve briefly listed common shibari rope materials below. If you’re interested in learning more about each one, scroll down to the “Which Materials are Best for Shibari Rope?” section!

 

  • Hemp
  • Cotton
  • Nylon
  • Jute
  • Silk
  • & more!

 

Safety Precautions to Take with Shibari Rope 

With a willing partner and the right soft rope, shibari can be a sensual and sexy way to enjoy some power play with your partner. However, there are a few things you’ll want to do to ensure a safe session. Here are eight safety precautions we recommend taking.

 

  • Stay sober for shibari
  • Keep a set of bandage shears on hand (for quick removal of ropes)
  • Communicate any previous injuries with your partner, as well as parts you don’t want touched/tied
  • Don’t be afraid to speak up, especially if you’re experiencing any numbness, tingling, burning, or coldness sensations
  • Never leave your partner alone
  • Stick to tying rope over larger muscle groups, and avoid circulatory areas like the back of the knee or the armpits
  • Learn basic anatomy (for reference on where or where not to tie)

FAQ

How long should my rope be for Shibari?
Japanese Shibari masters use 23 feet ropes. However, many Western riggers use rope 26 to 33 feet to fit Western subs and create incredibly intricate and lengthy designs.
Can you do Shibari with yarn?
If you want the aesthetic of Shibari, you can use any rope, string, or yarn available as long as you tie it loosely and use it for decoration rather than bondage. Don't tie it tightly - a rope that's too thin or rough can really hurt.
How much rope do you need for suspension?
Most suspensions use 6mm or 8mm rope. 8mm is more robust, but 6mm is easier to work with.
How do you soften Shibari ropes?
Use a gas flame (stove or blowtorch) or a candle. If you're using a candle, wipe the rope with a damp cloth afterwards to remove any soot. Make sure to sear off the loose fibres.
Is bondage good for relieving stress?
According to science, chains and whips not only excite you; they’re also excellent for relieving stress. Allowing yourself to be tied up and surrendering all control to your partner can be very freeing, whilst at the same time helping you to be present and aware of the moment.

What are Shibari Ropes?

Shibari is a Japanese style of bondage or BDSM that involves tying a person up using simple yet visually intricate patterns, usually with several pieces of thin rope. It's evolved into many different branches and practices and has become something people can use for creative expression and self-care. In addition to being an art form in itself, shibari also serves as an excellent chance to build trust and communication between two partners.

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The 7 Best Shibari Ropes in Test

1 Test Winner

Doc Johnson Japanese-Style 10 Metre Bondage Rope

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80/100
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80/100
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90/100
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We love the purple colour and slight smell of lavender of this eye-catching rope. You can create beautiful binds and intricate restraints with Doc Johnson’s bondage rope. Because of its shape, it lies flat against the skin, and the super-soft cotton reduces chafing. The length is also perfect for creating more-complex designs, and you can always mix and match with different colours.

Remember to keep scissors nearby when playing with rope if anyone feels uncomfortable or unsafe and needs to get out of there quickly.

Doc Johnson Japanese-Style 10 Metre Bondage Rope test
Doc Johnson Japanese-Style 10 Metre Bondage Rope features
Recommended for

BeginnerIntermediateAdvanced
You should buy the Doc Johnson Bondage Rope if you...
Are looking for a soft rope
Are new to Shibari
Enjoy using differently coloured ropes
You should NOT buy the Doc Johnson Bondage Rope if you...
Want a roughly-textured restraint
Need a strong and durable rope
Doc Johnson Japanese-Style 10 Metre Bondage Rope features
Features
Length393 inches
MaterialsCotton 
Pros
Doesn't chafe your skin
Lies flat against your skin
Adds a pop of colour to your binds
Cons
Can wear down if used roughly
Sometimes frays at the ends
Conclusion

This rope is perfect if you are just starting to build up your BDSM collection. It comes in a range of colours so that you can mix and match. It is long enough for more complex knots but not so long that it will get tangled. Doc Johnson can easily be thrown into the washing machine after you are done getting each other all wound up.

Always keep a pair of safety scissors nearby in case of an emergency, remember to keep up the line of communication, and keep checking in with one another to ensure the best experience.

2 Cheapest

Bondage Couture Rope By NS Novelties

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75/100
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90/100
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75/100
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Not only does this rope feel deliciously smooth against your skin, but it also looks fantastic! The NS Novelties Bondage Couture Rope makes for silky, shiny binds that will enhance your artwork. The soft ropes are also ideal for any bondage beginners. Because this rope is shiny, it’s easier to get out of knots should you change your mind at any time. However, if you are looking to get into a bit of sadistic play, this rope may not satisfy your desire for roughness.

We don’t suggest using the Couture Rope for suspension, but if you are interested in bondage swings, check out our article here.

Bondage Couture Rope By NS Novelties test
Bondage Couture Rope By NS Novelties features
Recommended for

BeginnerIntermediateAdvanced
You should buy the Bondage Couture Rope if you...
Want a lush new rope
Enjoy silky soft cords on your skin
Like being bound tightly
You should NOT buy the Bondage Couture Rope if you...
Have very sensitive skin
Want a less slippery rope
Want to tie secure knots for suspension
Bondage Couture Rope By NS Novelties features
Features
Length300 inches
Diameter2 inches
MaterialsSynthetic rope 
Pros
Luxurious colours
End tabs to stop fraying
Silky smooth on the skin
Cons
Knots can slip sometimes
Narrow diameter can cause pinching
More difficult to clean than cotton or hemp
Conclusion

The Couture Bondage rope by NS Novelties is luxurious and sturdy, gorgeous and practical, and it makes for a perfect beginner rope or more aesthetic designs. The narrow diameter means that this rope can feel a bit tight at times, which may be a good thing for some! However, the shininess of the cord makes it easy to untie quickly in emergencies. Just in case, always keep a pair of safety scissors nearby.

3 Beginner

The Stockroom Hemp Rope Starter Kit

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90/100
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100/100
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70/100
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Bondage enthusiasts laud hemp rope as the best for Shibari because it is soft, natural, and extremely strong. This hemp rope is organic, fair trade, and processed with allergen-free oils, so not only will it feel smooth against your skin, but it will not irritate it. It is also 100% vegan and animal friendly. Each starter kit includes one 30-foot rope and two 10-foot lengths of rope, as well as a pair of EMT Safety Shears. These are made from stainless steel to cut through strong rope, but they’re blunt-tipped for cutting close to the skin.

Recommended for

BeginnerIntermediateAdvanced
You should buy the Hemp Rope Kit if you...
Are new to bondage
Have sensitive skin
Want environmentally-friendly rope
You should NOT buy the Hemp Rope Kit if you...
Are on a budget
Don't need a whole kit
Prefer rougher rope for sadistic play
Features
Length360 (x1) inches
Length120 (x2) inches
Diameter0.24 inches
MaterialsOrganic, Fair Trade Hemp 
Pros
Extremely durable
Soft and comfortable
Comes with safety scissors
Environmentally friendly
Allergen-free oils
Cons
Knots can be difficult to unpick
Expensive for rope and scissors
More difficult to care for than cotton
Conclusion

This kit is excellent for beginners starting a new collection or bondage enthusiasts looking to create more intricate designs that require more rope. The ropes come in three different colour sets, too, in case you want to liven up your artistic knots. We also love that hemp is natural, good for your skin, and good for the environment. However, we suggest that you watch a few video tutorials on the care of hemp rope before you throw yours in the washing machine to ensure it retains its gloss and does not fray.

4 Pre-Tied

Kink by Doc Johnson Hemp Hog Tie Cuffs

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100/100
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95/100
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90/100
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With just one piece of rope and no knowledge of Shibari knots at all, you can delve into the exciting world of restraint-play. A versatile and easy-to-use set of cuffs, Doc Johnson’s hemp rope slips around your lover’s wrists, ankles, or both if you want to truss them up (or be trussed up). Astonishingly simple bondage play is now at your fingertips!

However, if you are curious about Shibari and want to learn how to tie knots in intricate patterns, then you may prefer buying a length of rope to experiment with. If you’re curious about other tools for BDSM, check out this article.

Kink by Doc Johnson Hemp Hog Tie Cuffs test
Kink by Doc Johnson Hemp Hog Tie Cuffs features
Recommended for

BeginnerIntermediateAdvanced
You should buy the Kink Hog Tie Cuffs if you...
Are new to Shibari
Have no knowledge of knots
Want a quick and easy restraint
You should NOT buy the Kink Hog Tie Cuffs if you...
Prefer more intricate knots
Enjoy the act of tying up your sub yourself
Want more options for restraint
Kink by Doc Johnson Hemp Hog Tie Cuffs features
Features
Length63 inches
Diameter0.24 inches
MaterialsHemp 
WaterproofSubmersible 
Pros
Ready and easy to use anytime
Tie ankles and wrists at the same time
Room to adjust length and tightness
Easy to clean
Cons
Cannot restrain or secure around other parts of the body
Does not help you learn Shibari knots
Conclusion

These soft cuffs are an ideal introduction to rope play for beginners and an easy way to incorporate bondage play anytime, anywhere for even more experienced users. The simple slip-ring design requires no knotting experience, and the adjustable loop allows you to customise your experience. They are suitable for use with bondage pillows, too. The soft hemp fibres bend with the body and slide smoothly across your skin for optimal comfort and safety.

5 Advanced

Natural Jute Bondage Rope from Paraphilia Toys

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80/100
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80/100
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95/100
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Low

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This beautiful, eco-friendly bondage rope by Paraphilia Toys is made of top-quality, single-ply Tossa jute. The texture of the rope enables it to securely grip itself well so that you can tightly bind your sub, and the skin-friendly oils in the rope ensure that they won’t chafe. Have fun watching Youtube tutorials together or inventing your own sexy knot designs. Experiment with different caresses as you enjoy the sensual and intimate experience of consensual bondage.

This rope is perfect for BDSM enthusiasts who love intricate Shibari knotting, hog ties, and breast bondage.

Natural Jute Bondage Rope from Paraphilia Toys test
Natural Jute Bondage Rope from Paraphilia Toys features
Recommended for

BeginnerIntermediateAdvanced
You should buy the Jute Bondage Rope if you...
Want a light yet sturdy rope
Enjoy tight, restrictive knots
Enjoy textured constraints
You should NOT buy the Jute Bondage Rope if you...
Are a bondage beginner
Are looking for brightly coloured rope
Prefer knots that can be slipped off easily
Natural Jute Bondage Rope from Paraphilia Toys features
Features
Length360 inches
Diameter0.24 inches
MaterialsJute 
Pros
Rope grips itself well for secure knots
All natural and eco-friendly
Light and springy
Cons
May be too restrictive for beginners
It can shed fibres, especially when new
Not the best for suspension
Only available in natural colour
Conclusion

This rope enables you to get inventive with various methods of limiting or being controlled by your partner. Your imagination is the limit! If you are an advanced practitioner of bondage, you will love the restrictive feel of the jute as it tightens around your wrists, ankles, or both!

Don’t give up if your jute rope feels hard and difficult to tie at first; this happens with jute, and it will become softer and more pliable the more you use it.

6 Long

Kink Bind and Tie Hemp Rope

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80/100
Ease of Use:

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75/100
Quality:

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90/100
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Low

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The Kink Hemp Shibari is perfect for intermediate players moving on to more advanced knotting patterns. It has the ideal amount of grippiness to keep your knots firm while still being easy to undo. This rope is strong, flexible, and slides smoothly across the skin for ultimate comfort.

Beginners may find the rope’s diameter too short, making the rope feel like it’s digging in.

Kink Bind and Tie Hemp Rope test
Kink Bind and Tie Hemp Rope features
Recommended for

BeginnerIntermediateAdvanced
You should buy the Kink Hemp Rope if you...
Want a grippy rope for sturdy knots
Want a natural, eco-friendly rope
Want to create lengthy, intricate designs
Enjoy the feel of a heftier rope
You should NOT buy the Kink Hemp Rope if you...
Don't want to spend time treating your rope
Are looking for a light, decorative rope
Are a bondage beginner
Kink Bind and Tie Hemp Rope features
Features
Length600 inches
TextureSoft but grippy 
MaterialsHemp 
Pros
Natural and eco-friendly
Sturdy and durable
Good length for more advanced designs
Comes in black or natural
Cons
Some find it a bit smelly
You have to spend time treating it
Not the prettiest rope for decorative knots
Conclusion

This is an excellent rope for intermediate Shibari players, and it comes in saucy black or au naturale. It can be knotted tightly and firmly, and the narrow rope can dig into the skin a little… if you want it to. The length of this rope is perfect for longer, intricate knot designs, but you can also customize your rope and trim it to any size that you like.

We recommend watching a few videos about treating hemp ropes or seeing if any Shibari workshops are happening near you to learn how to take care of your rope.

7 Electrostim

30ft Decorative Conductive Rope

Design:

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80/100
Ease of Use:

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70/100
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90/100
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Low

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This smooth and flexible conductive rope is ideal for decorative bondage, predicament bondage scenes, or intricate and beautiful Shibari.

It works well with violet wands and Electro-stimulation control boxes. Lay your wire along the floor (metal in a table may interfere), connect to the electrode and then experiment with running your hand near the wire.

If this seems intimidating, why not check out our roundup of bondage tape? Take your time discovering what you like.

Recommended for

BeginnerIntermediateAdvanced
You should buy the Decorative Conductive Rope if you...
Want to add a spark to your love life
Love intricate, decorative Shibari
Want to add a spark to your love life
You should NOT buy the Decorative Conductive Rope if you...
Are new to BDSM
Do not have experience with knots and safety
Just want a simple bondage rope
Features
Length360 inches
WaterproofNo 
MaterialsConductive rope 
Pros
Channels tantalising sparks and shocks
Soft and supple
Long enough for intricate designs
Cons
May be overwhelming for bondage beginners
Sometimes gets tangled
Sometimes pinches due to narrow, circular diameter
Conclusion

Talk about feeling a spark between you and your partner! This exciting conductive rope will have you shrieking with pleasure in no time. Plus, it works excellently for intricate Shibari binding.

To clean your rope, slip it into a lingerie bag to keep it from getting tangled, then add it to a machine wash with similar colours. Use cold water and air dry to avoid shrinking.

The Essential Companion to Shibari Rope

The first rule of Shibari and other bondage is to make sure that you have a handy escape method nearby should you ever need to get out of your knots in a hurry. For this reason, we strongly advise that you invest in a pair of safety shears that can easily chop through whatever restraints you are using.

Suspend Your Sub with This Shibari Frame

Are you looking to take your Shibari to the next level? You literally can, with suspension! Give yourself up to total surrender and enjoy the intimacy and trust you will feel when indulging in some high-flying fun!

Bondage Without the Knots

The worlds of bondage and Shibari can be intimidating at first, but there are several ways that you can ease yourself in. Pre-tied binds, cuffs, tape, and silk are all excellent ways to explore what you like and where your boundaries are.

Tape is the most like rope in the ways you can use it, just without tying knots. It’s versatile and easy to use whenever you want to indulge in some blissful bondage.

Which Materials are Best for Shibari Rope?

Shibari can be a most intimate and erotic act between two people, and the first rule of Shibari is that everyone involved feels safe, heard, comfortable, and consenting. Because we are all unique and magnificent, and we have varying tastes, the best Shibari rope for you is the one that feels the best on your skin. You should also take into account what your goals are. Is the rope for decorative Shibari, sturdy suspension, or bedtime bondage? Is it grippy? Beautiful to look at? Allergen-free?Find out what you like! Please keep reading to learn about the different kinds of bondage ropes and their qualities.

Hemp Rope

Hemp Rope

Hemp Rope

  • soft, knots easily
  • easier to care for than jute
  • slightly stronger than jute
  • good for the environment

Jute

Jute

Jute

  • springier and lighter than hemp and linen
  • knots well
  • unties easily
  • difficult to care for
  • though many use it for suspension, others argue against this due to its weakness

Cotton

Cotton

Cotton

  • soft touch
  • knots easily, but is difficult to untie
  • not recommended for suspension
  • Can stretch

Bamboo/Rayon and Silk

Bamboo/Rayon and Silk

Bamboo/Rayon and Silk

  • similar strength to hemp
  • typically the softest of the ropes
  • good for bedroom bondage
  • knot easily
  • the stretch makes these unsuitable for suspension
  • expensive

Coconut/ Manilla

Coconut/ Manilla

Coconut/ Manilla

  • rough and scratchy, making it good for sadistic play
  • easily breakable
  • not suited for suspension

Nylon

Nylon

Nylon

  • silky soft
  • little grip
  • stretchy
  • can be dyed and is machine-washable
  • because of how slippery nylon can be, we typically don’t recommend this for beginners

Polypropylene

Polypropylene

Polypropylene

  • can be stiffer than nylon
  • not very stretchy
  • little grip
  • floats in water
  • can’t be dyed at home
  • machine-washable

Synthetic “Natural Fiber” (Hempex)

Synthetic “Natural Fiber” (Hempex)

Synthetic “Natural Fiber” (Hempex)

  • looks like natural fiber
  • stiff
  • light
  • better grip than other synthetics
  • machine washable

Basic Ways to Tie Shibari Rope

There are degrees of intricacy with Shibari knots, and it may seem a little overwhelming if you are just starting out. We have rounded up the top three foundational knots you can learn to tie at home. These can be used in several combinations, so try out different things.

However, we suggest looking online for any Shibari classes that might be happening near you, as it is fun to learn in an interactive space if you can.

Check out Midori’s beautiful book, The Seductive Art of Japanese Bondage, for more complex ideas.

Overhand on a Bite

Overhand on a Bite

Overhand on a Bite

This knot is rarely used for suspension as it tightens up and then is hard to get undone. However, it is simple and can be used as a connector knot.

Lark's Head

Lark's Head

Lark's Head

This knot is the building block for most ties ranging from the easiest to the most complex. It is super handy to keep this skill in your back pocket.

Square Knot

Square Knot

Square Knot

This is a decorative knot that can be really effective and eye-catching. It is a great knot for building up your designs.

The History of Shibari

Enthusiasts worldwide engage in Shibari for various reasons like; sex and BDSM, photography, performance art, relationship building, meditation and stress relief, and self-empowerment. But before today, during the feudal Edo era in Japan, the dominant samurai class used rope to restrain prisoners of war in a martial art called hojojutsu, a brutal practise that bears little resemblance to the Kinbaku or Shibari of today. From Hojojutso, this artistic bondage became sensual and intimate, focusing on comfort, consent, and communication. This art of tight and often painful sexual or sensual tying became known as Shibari (decorative tying) or Kinbaku (tight binding). It became popular in the west in the 1950s after a Japanese cartoon portraying Shibari knots on naked women was published in a magazine.

Western Fascination

Western Fascination

Western Fascination

This illustration, “10 Tied Women” by Kita Reiko, appeared in Kitan Club Magazine in 1952.

How to Use Shibari Rope

Before you delve into the alluring world of Shibari, you must know what to expect, ensure you have a partner that you can trust and have an open conversation with, and make sure you have your safety shears nearby. Below we’ve compiled some key factors to consider before you begin.

How to Use Shibari Rope

Research

Research

Remember that Shibari is an ancient, intricate technique that is aesthetic and functional as well as sensual. True masters of Shibari have studied for long periods of time. It is important to be well-informed before you begin to ensure the safety and comfort of all players.

Find a Teacher Who Resonates With You

How to Use Shibari Rope

There are many virtual and IRL Shibari teachers out there, and it is important when practicing something so intimate as Shibari, it is important that you feel comfortable, and that your values, intentions, and expectations align with your teacher’s.

How to Use Shibari Rope
How to Use Shibari Rope

Take Your Time

Take Your Time

Go as slowly or quickly as you feel comfortable with, and keep communicating with one another. Start with soft, wide rope and breathable knots, and as you learn together and become more comfortable, you can progress into different textures, scenes, roles etc

Create a Safe Space

How to Use Shibari Rope

Shibari is an intimate style of rope bondage, so trusting the person you practice with is key. Don’t be afraid to be explicit about your desires, boundaries, and consent with your partner. Check in with each other periodically to ensure that both of you are still feeling good.

How to Use Shibari Rope
How to Use Shibari Rope

Communication

Communication

When you play, pay attention to any tingling, numbness, coldness, or burning in your limbs, especially your hands and fingers, and notify your top ASAP. Don’t worry about breaking character, you don’t want to permanently damage your nerves and it’s important that both of you feel comfortable at all times.

Use Sex Positions for Inspiration

How to Use Shibari Rope

Once you’ve got some basic construction knots down, why not start with your favourite sex position, then use the ropes to tie your partner into that shape.

How to Use Shibari Rope

How to Clean Shibari Ropes

Wash your bondage ropes ONLY when dirty with faeces, urine, blood, cum or vomit. Otherwise, just let them air out. Hemp and jute are naturally anti-microbial and will kill most germs. Cleaning your natural fibre rope is not recommended, as you need to wash, dry, singe, and oil it every time, which eventually weakens the rope’s fibres, making play unpredictable, and the rope unfit for suspensions. The best way to have clean rope is not to get it dirty. If you want to do crotch ties, I recommend setting aside a specific rope for that person for that purpose, or using a synthetic rope that can go in the washing machine. Follow the instructions that come with your rope to be safe.

Porous
materials

Soft plastic, hard plastic, jelly, rubber, Cyberskin are all porous materials, meaning that small particles and bacteria can penetrate the surface. This makes it impossible to completely clean these types of materials.

Therefore, it is recommended that you use a condom with these types of toys, especially if you are sharing them. Clean these toys with mild soapy water and dry gently with a towel. These materials are more easily damaged, so be sure to be gentle and make sure your toys are completely dry before storing.

Non-propous
materials

Silicone, glass, stainless steel and some hard plastics can all be washed using a mild soap (like you would use on your body) and warm water. Just be careful if your toy contains electrical parts.

Silicone and stainless steel toys without any electrical parts can also be boiled for sterilisation.

The toys with electrical
components

If your toys contain electrical components, be extra careful when cleaning them and always check the instructions provided with the toy. You can use a gentle cloth and soap to wipe or sex toy cleaner or cleaning wipe to down your toy, making sure that no water comes into contact with the electrical parts.