design  i n   Rope
Kringle Mat

Kringle Mat

Woven mats may be described as flat or two dimensional knots. Many of the patterns are taken from the tradition of sailors' decorative work, although the knot forms are ancient and are common to many cultures and disciplines.

To weave a symmetrical and evenly proportioned rope mat takes skill and patience; the long rope end is threaded under and over, taken around the pattern and pulled through several times, whilst constantly neatening the overall shape along the way.

This Kringle Mat is a classic Turks Head weave and was formed from a single, surprisingly long piece of 6mm manila rope - Ten metres were used for a ten and a half inch (27 cm) diameter table mat.

Spiral Mat in manila rope

Spiral Rope Mat

Made using good quality new rope, woven or sewn rope mats not only last, but also look wonderful set on the table as hot pads or centre pieces, vertically as wall hangings, or as unusual stool or chair seat covers.

A hand sewn coil of 18 mm diameter manila rope produced this Spiral table mat measuring approximately ten and a half inches in diameter (27 cm). The mat could be made just as well from hemp or even cotton cord, although the latter would not be so practical unless intended as a purely decorative piece.

Although the pattern is simpler than the woven carrick or kringle rope mats, the construction is just as time consuming: the rope is stitched together using flax twine with the aid of a sailor'spalm, and neatly finished with Sail maker's whippings, as shown in the images below.

Spiral Mat in manila rope
Spiral Mat in manila rope
Spiral Mat in manila rope
Carrick Mat in mix of ropes, cotton and hemp

Carrick Mat

The Carrick Mat, also known as a Thump Mat, is traditionally placed around a ring bolt on the deck of a ship as chafing gear - to deaden the sound of the block falling and to save wear on the deck.

A carrick mat could be woven from a continuous length of 6mm manila hemp or cotton rope, or more attractively, as a mixed weave.

The carrick rope table mat on the left was made in this way using three lengths of 8mm rope. In total, 6 metres were needed - 2 metres of cotton rope and 4 metres of hemp. This carrick rope mat measured approximately eight and a half inches (21cm) in diameter.

After sewing up the ends and whipping neatly with sailor's twine, a protective lacquer was applied on the underside of the mat.

Ocean Mat

The small photographed image below shows an Ocean Mat (also known as The Sailor's True Lover Mat Weave) formed into a type of Turks Head weave repeated four times, from a single length of 8mm cotton rope.

Rope mats used to be a feature on sailing boats, and also ashore - used as chafing gear, to protect against damage to deck timbers, or wherever necessary. The simplest design would have been made on a primitive loom, and was known as sword matting. More elaborate woven mats and braided plaits can be truly decorative, and are used for many purposes - smaller, and made using thinner cord they become neat drinks coasters. A large ocean mat woven in cotton would make a hard wearing, yet luxurious mat in a bathroom with a nautical setting.

Ocean Mat in cotton rope
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