(edited because I completely forgot to reference and link to the company I purchased the rope from as I meant to!)
The hunt for rope began at Home Depot.
I picked up a package of a nylon/polyester solid-braid blend and made floggers out of it. This began my fascination with the stuff. After that, I picked up another pack of 8mm nylon/poly, this one more of a twisted rope. I cut this into thirty-foot lengths, and this was my first set of bondage rope (the set I dyed with kool-aid, if you've been taking notes). I also picked up some ten-millimeter stock. I used this to make a rather heavy flogger that's quite nice.
In the interim, I bought a batch of manila and another of sisal. The manila simply isn't going to get where I want it to be, therefore I gave up. As for the sisal, I researched it and realized it really wasn't going to suit my needs before I wasted any time trying to condition it.
So I finally got my hemp rope in. It's from a company called Rawganique out of Canada.
After getting good information from Ellie Lumpesse, I started by singeing the rope to remove any sharp or long fibers. I had a pot of water on hand in case of incident. The water attracted a certain curious pussycat.
After that, I plopped it into the pot to let it boil. It boiled for six long, stinky hours. I then dumped it out and hung it to dry.
This morning, I stretched it. My tools? Gloved hands and my feet.
After the stretching came more singeing, then I oiled it with scented mineral oil. I'm not sure how much oil is actually called for, but I'm going to be working the rope more and adding more oil. It's very very lovely, and I have four thirty-foot lengths of it.
I also have a spare three feet that I'll be using for several dyeing experiments. This first batch is staying its natural color, however.
Conclusion: While I'm not completely done conditioning this rope, I will say it was worth the time. I don't know if it's going to be something I do often, or learn to do with any efficiency, but I've been enjoying this. I now understand the work that Twisted Monk puts into his stock, and I've heard his stuff is absolutely amazing.
By the way, check out my bitchin' sailor's whipping:
It looks so much better than the electrical tape I did have on the ends of all my rope before. Oh, and the blurry black thing? Not the monster from Lost. That's a cat trying to get his catfoot into frame while mommy's shooting pictures.
There's something about making your own tools. You're putting your own time and sweat into it, and you're putting something of yourself into it. There's a connection there. My rope floggers aren't the prettiest critters, but I know the feel of them. The vampire glove I made (which I gifted to DB) was downright ugly...but it got the job done, and I knew it. I urge everyone to make at least one toy for your bag. ;) See if you don't enjoy it.