In this brief article I will present two methods I use to flatten paracord.
As you might have noticed, I quite often use flat, gutted paracord, especially for tying turk’s head knots and plaiting over objects.
Just gutting paracord and using it that way worked for me, but I often got frustrated because of the various twists which do not result in a nice looking knot. A lot of time was then used to adjust and unravel the cords in the knot.
I have since introduced an important step in tying and plaiting: straightening out (flattening) paracord. With this step done properly, you can save a lot of time and frustration. So, how do I do it?
I have two techniques that I like using, depending on the situation.
- practice cords, which I use to learn and practice knots is usually flattened using nose pliers. I start on one end of the cord, squeeze the nose pliers tightly and then pull the gutted cord through. This will flatten out the cord, but it will also make small tears in the sheath. This is why I only use this as a quick way to flatten out cord that will not be used in an end product.
- working cord, which I intend to use for an actual project is processed differently. I place a piece of cloth over the gutted cord and then iron it using a clothes iron. It may not look as macho as some would like, but it does it’s job extremely well. I highly recommend trying this out.
Besides these techniques, I have heard of a few using hair straighteners. Greg Angjise commented on one of my videos that he soaks the cord in cold water. Then, using the straightener, he goes over the cord slowly, which evaporates the water and produces a very good, flat cord. Thank you Greg for the tip!
A quick video flattening cord is also available below: