Another trick you can use to improve your braids and braided knots is to roll them.
Rolling knots and braids is a practice that reaches into the times of leather braiding. Braided (plaited) items were rolled, often underfoot in order to make them lay nicely.
This practice has not been abandoned at all, but is not as common as it should be. You can see the rolling technique used by whip makers, but it will work wonders on various other braids and knots as well.
So, what am I actually talking about?
How to roll?
Rolling a braid is as simple as it sounds. You take your braid, place it on the ground and roll it by putting pressure on the item (using your foot, a slab of stone, a wooden plank etc.), then moving fowards and backwards.
You don’t have to use the ground though! I use a couple of sturdy wooden planks for example. Place the item between the two, then roll it.
As long as you take your time and apply enough pressure, the item will be rolled consistently and with great effect.
I prepared an example using a single strand Matthew Walker knot, comparing the knot before being rolled and after:
The knot before rolling it:
The knot looks a lot flatter and consistent when rolled:
So, I hope this little tip helps you out in your projects! It is always useful to have a broad repertoire of techniques at your disposal.
Have a great day!
A video on this technique is available here:
I was just wondering if you could do this with the snake knot?
I do roll many knots, but the snake knot is one you could not “roll”. You can still press down on the knot in between to planks to flatten it, but rolling is usually done with round knots.