Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Basket Weave Hip Harness (aka- the Han Solo Gunslinger)

The "Han Solo" Gunslinger (thanks to the lovely Anise for the gorgeous hips)
In March I taught a class at Bound in Boston that was just hip harnesses. The class was packed and I had a great time teaching. One of my favorite hip harnesses to teach was this one- the Basket Weave or, as we call it, the Han Solo Gunslinger. Why the Han Solo? Because it hangs low on the hip just like Han's blaster rig does (Han did shoot first...)

This hip harness is really cool- it looks awesome, is fast to tie and has NO KNOTS! Pretty awesome huh? There are a few downsides- if it isn't tied fairly tightly it can and will move. If it is used in a suspension there is a specific method of tying into it that should be done (which will be featured in a future posting) and it should have an additional leg wrap on the opposite leg for support during suspensions. It is always best to know the limitations of a tie as well as the benefits (I might even argue that is it more important to know the limitations, but that is my opinion). 

A 30 foot rope was used to make this harness on my bottom. Some may require less rope, some may require more rope. If you do need more then refer to our earlier post about joining rope.

A thank you goes out to Lord Percival (aka Percy) for showing me this hip harness!

So here it goes!

The first thing you need to do is to locate the hip bones. The harness needs to be seated firmly on the hip bones
so that it doesn't slip up into the soft tissue above. Gently pressing into your partner's hips will help you locate where you need to locate the harness. It also helps build the connection between  you and your partner if you are doing it right. 

Wrap the rope around the hips and bring it through the bight (mid point loop) of the rope. Place the bight where you want the hip harness to end up. I chose to go for the mid point of the thigh. That is probably the best placement for this harness. 

Wrap the rope firmly around the leg between where you want the harness to be located and the knee. Note that the rope is firmly in the bottom's skin. It should not be so tight as to restrict circulation but it should be tight enough that it will not move easily. 

Continue the rope up around the backside of the leg and crossing over the original path of the rope. The rope then goes up around the hips again on top of and parallel to the first pass. It then comes back down and goes over the first band it crosses then under the second band. 

The rope then follows the first pass around the leg then up to the bands again. Here you will start another weave but it needs to be the opposite of the first weave so it goes under the first band and over the second. The rope continues up around the hips again. 

When the rope comes back down to the meeting point you weave again- doing the opposite of the last pass. In this case it is over, under over.  Then the rope turns and goes under then over. 

Things get a little funky here because of earlier weaving. To continue to get opposite weaving on the ropes that you are working with you will need to repeat over under on the next pair of bands. It looks kind of funny but it is stronger to have the opposite weaving like that. 

The rope then weaves over, under over.
(please ignore the weird grey arrow that I didn't notice was there when I was editing- these are not the droids that you are seeking...)

You see the pattern yet? Here the weave goes under, over, under, turns then over, under and I am left with a couple of inches of extra rope. 

Take those extra inches of rope and tuck them up underneath the lovely weaving pattern you just made!

Here it is! A killer hip harness with no knots! Pretty cool huh? The weaving is what gives this hip harness its strength. Because of the amount of weaving that takes place this works with ropes that have less friction such as nylon and MFP quite well too. Synthetic ropes like that may have more of a tendency to slip on the skin though so please take that into account if tying with it. 

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