Author Topic: What knot to use?  (Read 17300 times)

liminal

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What knot to use?
« on: December 05, 2008, 11:00:04 PM »
Hi,
         I am making a short drama film for my university course and was wondering if anyone could help me out, I have researched briefly on knots, however it is a subject I know little about and wanted the advice of people who would know.

The particular part of this film would focus on one character belittling the other over why he escaped from the rope tied around his wrists (which were behind his back).
I would like to know which knots are easy to escape from in this context.

There is also a scene in which he ties the best knot for bounding his enemies wrists, I figured that a constrictor knot or a handcuff knot would be best for this scene.
Any help would be greatly appreciated...

Thanks,

Ashley Nurse


roo

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Re: What knot to use?
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2008, 11:45:42 PM »
Hi,
         I am making a short drama film for my university course and was wondering if anyone could help me out, I have researched briefly on knots, however it is a subject I know little about and wanted the advice of people who would know.

The particular part of this film would focus on one character belittling the other over why he escaped from the rope tied around his wrists (which were behind his back).
I would like to know which knots are easy to escape from in this context.

There is also a scene in which he ties the best knot for bounding his enemies wrists, I figured that a constrictor knot or a handcuff knot would be best for this scene.
Any help would be greatly appreciated...

Thanks,

Ashley Nurse



A grief knot would almost be too easy to escape from, and not likely to be tied anyway:

http://notableknotindex.webs.com/reefknot.html

A granny knot would also be a poor choice.

A constrictor knot is not necessarily a good choice for binding limbs.  If the crossings slip over a non-convex area, they may be loosened.  

P.S.  What are your criteria for the "best" limb binder?  For example, is escape prevention the only consideration, or is occupant safety or the ability to apply to an unwilling person also important?
« Last Edit: October 28, 2009, 04:57:23 PM by roo »
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liminal

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Re: What knot to use?
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2008, 02:42:36 AM »
Only prevention of escape, the victim would be unconscious at time of application, victim safety is not important either,
« Last Edit: December 06, 2008, 02:44:15 AM by liminal »

DerekSmith

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Re: What knot to use?
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2008, 01:17:25 PM »
Only prevention of escape, the victim would be unconscious at time of application, victim safety is not important either,

Liminal

Safety is ALWAYS important - even in drama.

An inappropriately applied binding can cut off blood supply and in a very short time the persons hand can die.  You should never mess around with rope bindings with the attitude that safety is not important.

Perhaps you should go out and buy a pair of handcuffs, you do not need to worry about safety with them, or if the period is present day then stay in character and use cable ties or Gaffa tape as used by the police or forces today.

As for escaping from a restraint where your hands are tied behind you, it is almost impossible irrespective of what knot the tier has used unless you are a skilled escapologist or the tier has no sense at all and creates a fat jumble instead of an actual knot.

PS.  I have reported this thread for moderation because of the indifference to personal safety.

Derek

WebAdmin

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Re: What knot to use?
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2008, 08:32:48 PM »
Hello Liminal,

Perhaps you ought to give us some more detail of your film project.  We do sometimes get requests from artistically interested people, but Derek is quite right: even in a film environment, you need to show the proper treatment of the subject (in this case the knot) or make it much more clear to us why the proper treatment is not an issue.

A character belittling another over why he escaped from a restrictive binding seems very odd.  Who wouldn't try to escape?  The only scenario that seems likely is that of a considerable stereotype such as sadistic pleasure.  Is the antagonist the sort of personality that would know that much about knots?  Does the film provide a background whereby he would explain his knowledge (ie, a brief scene concerning childhood, or looking at a book of knots)?  Is the film tied to realism, or is it surreal - in which case what you need not be concerned with the actual knot beyond the safety of the actors (in the same way that Hollywood is not concerned with the minor detail that explosions in space are spherical, not flat planes)?  Or are you aiming for a balance of both, in which case you need to decide how to balance them.

The plot of the film notwithstanding, since you propose to actually show the knot being tied, then the physical safety of the actor who will be bound is paramount.  You won't get far in the film industry without health and safety, whether that is your career or not.

Which university do you attend?  Perhaps you may be able to attend a Branch meeting.

Regards

Mrs G Chew
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Lesley
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liminal

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Re: What knot to use?
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2008, 09:23:52 PM »
I didn't say I would be using the knot in the film, only that the information would be used to belittle a character, please calm down derek, there is no need to report me for you over-reacting, for everyone else, thank you for the constructive comments. When I said safety is not important, it was in context to the character within the narrative, not the actor on the set, please do not condescend to me on the issue of safety, I am aware. The film is set in one location, and the events to seem unpredictable and not premeditated, hence the use of rope, not handcuffs. (also, when do police forces use gaffa tape? Please explain).

One character would be very skilled at knot tying and so would be able to work out the knot, figuring out how to undo it. This was the plan anyway.

The selected knot would not (no pun intended) be shown visually, any visual shots would show only rope near hands, no knots, the information is purely for dialogue use. I hope this clears up any misunderstandings.

- The character will have been left alone for many hours with his wrists tied behind his back.

- The character does not flee the scene as the reason he was tied up was not to be murdered, only subdued

- The plot of the film dictates that they must wait in this one place, in order to contact another person, so nobody would flee

- The plot contains elements of violence, but is peppered with black comedy (comedy about death, violence etc.)

- The character does take sadistic pleasures, however this is revealed much further on

- The character tying the 'easy' knot would be inexperienced,  only using rope out of desperation

- The character tying the 'hard' knot would know a lot about knots, maybe from some sort of survival training or personal interest etc.

- Neither of the characters background knowledge needed explaining though it may be useful to have a flashback of him at said training, knowledge as to where he may have learned such a skill (escapology, military training, scouts, books for example) would also be appreciated.

DerekSmith

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Re: What knot to use?
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2008, 12:30:29 PM »
please do not condescend to me on the issue of safety, I am aware.


Liminal,  it was not my intention to be condescending, neither in word nor intimation, if you feel that I failed to understand your awareness of safety, then the fault was yours for failing to make your awareness clear to me on an issue which by now you will appreciate is important to all responsible knot tyers.

Quote
(also, when do police forces use gaffa tape? Please explain).

Now knot tying and language are similar in the respect that if you make a very small change it can make a huge difference to the result.  If you read my post again carefully you will see that I did not write 'police forces' - I had included the word OR, vis - 'police or forces' and from this you should have understood that perhaps 'forces' use Gaffa.

At this point I have to make it clear however that I have no first hand knowledge of these issues.  With the exception of once seeing a person in handcuffs, my whole perception comes from books, films (including TV) and the internet.  Having said that, I have seen documentary footage of armed forces using cable ties, wire or Gaffa tape to secure the wrists of captives and film portrayals where criminal forces seem to prefer the ubiquitous roll of Gaffa tape, -- this is the basis of my comment.

As for your plot, I do not understand your explanation and so cannot comment further other than reiterating that even with the encyclopedic knowledge of knots possessed by the likes of Dan Lehman or Roo, they could not escape from even simple knots binding their hands behind their backs.  When you see escapologists doing this it is based on illusion or trickery or abject idiocy on behalf of the tyer, however, it is also reasonable to note that even a skilled knotter would have difficulty securely restraining an escapologist if the escapologist were allowed control over certain elements of the process (their choice of cloths, the rope, location and what they were bound to etc.)

Derek

Dan_Lehman

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Re: What knot to use?
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2008, 06:58:29 PM »
Quote
even with the encyclopedic knowledge of knots possessed by the likes of Dan Lehman ...
 could not escape from even simple knots binding their hands behind their backs.

Sorry to be late to this dramatic thread, but I was tied up, and it took a while to wiggle free
--even w/my ears burning and all!

- The character will have been left alone for many hours with his wrists tied behind his back.

- The character tying the 'easy' knot would be inexperienced,  only using rope out of desperation

- The character tying the 'hard' knot would know a lot about knots, maybe from some sort of survival training or personal interest etc.

- Neither of the characters background knowledge needed explaining though it may be useful to have a flashback of him at said training,
 knowledge as to where he may have learned such a skill (escapology, military training, scouts, books for example) would also be appreciated.

Maybe one should be seeking advice from the S&M crowd!? :-[

To my mind, it's not likely to be so much a knot per se, but a lashing that binds the wrists
& arms, whose ends might be tied off various ways.

This forum's current chatter could provide some ideas for the scene:  so many here cite the Constrictor
knot as one of their Top Ten, one could fancy their too-clever-by-half employment of it upon some
victim, all the while smugly asserting their expertise; and the victim, less vocal but more savvy,
taking advantage of the insight offered by Roo of that knot's weakness in its needing to be pressed
against a convex surface--conceivably one could wiggle the wrists to exploit this!

Another likely finish to a lashing would be the simple and commonly known Reef / Square knot.
If an end (just one is enough) of the binding rope were long enough, the victim could endeavor
to step upon it and pull his wrists away in the opposite direction to the end's finish, which is the
prescribed method for capsizing the knot (something yachters should know)--and then gradually
wiggle through the now Larkshead-around-other-end knot adequate material to loosen the binds.
At least if the lashing is of but a couple wraps; more wraps will diminish the gain of any feed through
the capsized knot, and a quick test showed that to be too much a challenge.
Hmmm, material slickness helps.    And were the binding material *borrowed* from a floor lamp,
say, then one would necessarily have all the components for success:  not-so-knot-friendly, slick,
material, limited length for wrapping, but still an assured long end for capsizing the knot!  BINGO!


I've just played around with both scenarios above, in 8mm old climbing kernmantle cord, not
terribly tightly set (for the Reef, I gave up setting in situ:  estimated lashings size and then tightened
the knot, and then wriggled INTO it); the cases seem plausible.   How many folks are trained at
binding others?  --or even at knotting?!  (I don't have any knot-forensics book:  SquareRigger, Gordon?)

Good luck,
may The Force be with you (but not the police),

 :)

squarerigger

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Re: What knot to use?
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2008, 07:46:31 PM »
Hi Liminal,

You have an interesting scenario here - I think that if anyone were to deride another for incorrect knotting it would be in the LOCATION of the tying not the knot itself.  DL is correct that a lashing would be a great choice - what is also certain is that tying the wrists allows someone who is double-jointed or very flexible to escape simply by moving their wrists to the front of their body (under their butt or over their head if the wrists can be rotated so that they can do it) far better it would be to tie the ELBOWS together as close as comfort allows (circulation may well be restricted in larger people) behind the back, with a stout pole slipped and lashed to the upper arms, between the victim's back and the elbows to prevent rotation.  The wrists could then be lashed together to quite immobilise the victim.  The art of hojo-jitsu as practiced in the Far East offers some complete insights to human immobilization techniques.  As to training - there are very few today who appear to be or are trained in the use of cord, although farm-hands immobilize animals' legs with hobbling techniques, farriers use hobbles, firefighters use lashings and webbing for restraint to baskets, carriers and stretchers, to name a few who do, mostly with techniques passed on from one generation or station to another.  I'll dig out my books on forensic knotting to see who might be identified specifically other than as noted above, on restraint of persons, other, of course, than BDSM practitioners who have a series of books about knotting techniques that allow for lashing as being a better binding, allied also to hitches around another binding piece of line so that the victim in struggling makes the lashing tighter.  Not much help I think!

SR

TheTreeSpyder

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Re: What knot to use?
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2008, 09:23:25 PM »
How about letting the 'victim' palm a bite for slack, clasp it firmly between hand heels, then let it loose whenst left alone, and work that slack around in the lashings that bind to freedom.

bowline

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Re: What knot to use?
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2008, 06:21:45 AM »
Gudday Liminal
Suggest you consider the type of rope used. Many knots that are secure in natural fibre like manila, sisal, cotton are not too god when you use some of the stiff and slippery plastics. There have been reports of Bowlines coming adrift when tied in polyethylene.
Cheers
frank

SS369

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Re: What knot to use?
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2008, 03:48:28 PM »
I second the opinions of Mr. Lehman and Mr. Squarerigger in that for the "look" on screen a lashing (addressing the the elbows and the wrists and perhaps even the waist) looks the most formidable and if mentioned that a constrictor or strangle knot encircled the parallel runs of the lashing would add a"dangerous" and knowledgeable sounding element to the person quoting this.
Now this would to be the hard to escape set up.

As for easy, any sloppy use of knotting would be just fine. Just use some granny knot or reef knot tied loosely.

Magicians are said to "expand" the place where the knot is tied to leave some looseness that they can then exploit in the escape attempt.

Just an opinion.
SS

Dan_Lehman

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Re: What knot to use?
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2008, 06:23:20 PM »
I second the opinions of Mr. Lehman and Mr. Squarerigger in that for the "look" on screen a lashing ...

But I have no such "look" in mind (and I admit to paying more attention to "drama"
than "film" and was thinking of a stage performance):  esp. as my last-given example,
of using the lamp cord, implies (and needs , for effect), there is relatively little
material at hand for the binding--and a necessarily long "end" (i.e., the floor lamp),
with which the bound person can use to capsize the squaREef knot.

 ;)

SS369

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Re: What knot to use?
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2008, 04:14:56 AM »
I only agreed with the part about a lashing.
Though Liminal did mention the use of rope.
Although there might be many types of bindings suitable to the task, I thought that a lashing (survivalist or special operative training?) would be very visually or verbally interesting to His scene.
So since we haven't read back from Liminal in a while, perhaps he got his answer(s).

SS

DerekSmith

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Re: What knot to use?
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2008, 02:17:45 PM »
Quote
This forum's current chatter could provide some ideas for the scene:  so many here cite the Constrictor
knot as one of their Top Ten, one could fancy their too-clever-by-half employment of it upon some
victim, all the while smugly asserting their expertise; and the victim, less vocal but more savvy,
taking advantage of the insight offered by Roo of that knot's weakness in its needing to be pressed
against a convex surface--conceivably one could wiggle the wrists to exploit this!

Liminal, everybody,

Please do not under any circumstances apply a constrictor to the human body.  Its self gripping and concealing structure make it virtually impossible to untie once it has tightened, especially should it have the opportunity to partly embed itself into a fleshy area, which makes it hard, even dangerous to cut it off.

The constrictor works when it has a convex surface behind the compression area and not at all if the knot is suspended over a concave area, but in general, wrists, hands, fingers, arms, neck etc are all essentially convex and will hold the constrictor dangerously well.

But much worse, is the fact that the constrictor likes to work on a springy surface, where the surface presses back and clamps the gripping structure in place.  Worse still, is the fact that just about any tension leads to the knot tightening still further against the spring of the flesh and the knot bites in like a tourniquet rapidly eliminating blood flow. In my opinion the constrictor and its sister the strangle should never be use for direct restraint.

The purpose of restraint is after all exactly that - to simply restrain, prevent escape - there is no intention to harm, only restrain, so in that situation knots must be chosen which cannot work up and clamp into the flesh if the victim struggles.  Frankly, the simple handcuff knot could hardly do the job better than if it had been designed to do the job.  But for extended unattended security, those two half hitches to tie off the ends are a bit of a weak spot.

How would you lock up those two ends safely?

Derek