Mathematical and Physical Properties of Rope Made for Decorative Purposes

Alexander Åström and Christoffer Åström
Proceedings of Bridges 2016: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Education, Culture (2016)
Pages 681–688 Workshop Papers


In this workshop paper we give a brief introduction to the historical aspects of rope making, different types of materials as well as techniques of construction. We look at mathematical and physical properties of rope and how to adapt these properties when making rope using some basic techniques. During the workshop we present two different techniques of making rope, vertical and horizontal, where both tools are hand operated. The tool we use for making rope vertically is known as a “Känsespel“ [ɕænsəspe:l]. For the horizontal rope making we compare two machines and describe the advantage of having a gear ratio. We also show the impact of the mathematical and physical properties in the laid rope. We then let the participants create their own piece of rope and elaborate with the mentioned properties of the rope.