Prick Your Finger's Rope Making Machine is a home spun opportunity for communities wanting to make rope for whatever reason. 

Simple technology on the 'rope walk' arrived with the Romans, enabling us to pull ourselves together. Some street names remind us that most towns had a rope walk. Prick Your Finger's rope making machine up-cycles materials while re-thinking the manufacture and uses of this basic thread.  


How it works


Lengths of yarn or fabric are fed through a mechanism that can be turned by a handle to create a twist. The ends of the rope are secured in a paddle, which is held steady as the wheel turns.


Central St Martins 2nd year BA Textiles took the Rope Making machine to the Olympic Park in London to make a 'happening'.

Old sheets, duvet covers and last season's fabrics were ripped into strips. The work is wonderful stretching for the arms and shoulders. Unloved prints can look great in strips and even better in rope.

Had we had time, we could have made really long rope as the Olympic Park is vast. Students wanted to make their own rope designs, we worked on five meter lengths and used the rope to play skipping games, hip hop style. (Or so we thought.)


Listen to audio from Rope Songs, an event at London College of Communication


Blogs about rope making

Music can be a way of hearing and acting out different formations of hierarchy and equality, apparently specific to the medium of sound and apparently at one remove from the political mechanisms of power.
— LT/HT (low technology/high technology) group

Get involved

Book a workshop, exhibition or talk based on this project: contact Rachael.


University of the Arts London

Points of Listening