Saturday, April 28, 2012

Russian Style Ropes

The above two photos are prayer ropes made in a Russian style. I specify that this is a Russian style and not the Russian style because research has shown me that there are actually several styles of prayer rope in Russia and the Slavic lands.

The first prayer rope is a 150 knot rope divided every 10 knots. It is set up so that one can pray the "Prayer Rule of the Theotokos" as well as the Jesus Prayer. I made this one out of rayon cord instead of my usual nylon-satin. This was actually an accident. I ran out of material one month and ended up ordering rayon by mistake. Although it was a little more expensive than the nylon-satin, the resulting prayer ropes were amazing. The knots were slightly larger, and the final product was more flexible. Unfortunately, however, rayon is not as sturdy as nylon-satin. I can't tell you how much material I wasted because I literally pulled the cord apart as I was tightening knots. It took quite a bit of getting used to.

The second rope is a 33 knot Russian style rope. This rope has a divider at the half-way point (where the 17th knot would usually be). Other 33 knot Russian style ropes would have a bead every 11 knots instead. This rope is made out of my usual nylon-satin.

One distinguishing feature on a Russian style rope is the tassel. The Greek and Romanian style prayer ropes didn't used to have tassels, although most prayer ropes in general today are made with tassels.

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