Ah, they don’t things like they used to, right? It’s not just something your grandpa says, the whole “we don’t make anything like we used” thing. We literally don’t, most of the time. And while we love our technology, watching these Norwegian restorers make rope for a ship restoration is so satisfying. Thick rope is usually made by wrapping a bunch of fibers together, and we have machines for this sort of thing now. But these people are doing it the old-school way, using a register plate to wrap the fibers together. It’s not only hypnotizing to watch, but it also looks like a really good workout. In the video woman walks along a line made of a handful of different threads and uses her muscle, along with a wooden tool, to pull all the threads into one piece. It’s called a “ropewalk.”
The video comes from the Hardanger Og Voss Museum in Norway, where this team is busy restoring old ships. Using handmade rope is part of keeping things in their original state. Even crazier: Each piece of rope is made for a certain part of the ship, custom-style. They also suggest that people who have boats buy handmade rope for the rigging since it’s better quality.
The museum writes on its website, “Here we produce handmade rope from hemp, manila, cocoanut, linden fibers and horse hair, among other things. We also produce rope from an artificial hemp (polypropylene). The craft is based upon technology from the Middle Ages.”
We could watch these guys make rope all day.
The museum got their own rope maker a few years ago, but it has been 40 whole years since the last person was taught how to make rope in Norway until the museum’s rope maker educated a two other rope makers to keep the tradition alive. This is how the Vikings made rope, people. Life was obviously a heck of a lot harder back in the day. Next time you’re on a boat and see a huge roll of rope, take note — some person might have wound that up with their own two hands.