Tutorial for Making Fishing Nets
February 22, 2017 8:36 AM   Subscribe

I have this marvelous vest (sadly no longer made) and saw this marvelous ancient Egyptian dress. The vest is knotted ribbon in a wide fishing net pattern and the dresses appear to be the same (with beads). It has come into my mind that I could make a whole tank dress out of the 3M ribbon like my vest. Anyone know a good source (book, online, or other) for knotting nets like this? because I totally have time to do this, too

Also, a place to buy the 3M ribbon, maybe?
posted by crush-onastick to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (13 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
This might be the ribbon you're looking for
posted by Fig at 8:41 AM on February 22, 2017

If you have the rigid beads, there's not much you need to know. If you want to do it without beads, it's not going to hang like the dress.

Is the vest really *only* 3M ribbon? Because in my experience, that stuff doesn't handle well for cordage purposes. Maybe it's heat sealed or glued at the intersections, rather than tied?

If you want "real" net-work, check out this guide from the International Guild of Knot Tyers - my go-to for anything related to the art and craft doing things with cordage. Page 41 has a simple schematic showing how to do a basic net using a netting needle.

But I'd not recommend that. I'd do this by buying the beads, simply stringing them with nylon and square knots, then wrapping reflective tape or ribbon around the beads. You might also be able to find reflective beads, but the tiny glass beads used in reflective paint are spoiling my naive searches.
posted by SaltySalticid at 8:46 AM on February 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

Yes, the vest is only ribbon.
posted by crush-onastick at 8:47 AM on February 22, 2017

I think the craft you want to investigate is probably macrame. It is currently outmoded but your local library will likely have some books on it that you can look at for inspiration at least.

It won't look quite the same but crochet lends itself well to large mesh, and if I were tasked to make something visually similar to that Egyptian dress but comfy I would do it in crochet. Ribbon crochet was trendy a few decades ago but ultimately it works up like regular yarn/thread work, it's just harder to handle. I don't know about the reflective products out there - if something rope or threadlike is made, try that instead of flat ribbon if you experiment with crochet.
posted by Mizu at 9:09 AM on February 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

There's cordage that's got reflective fibers in it: it's sold for tent guylines, for example, to prevent people tripping on them at night.

It would be a lot easier to use a spool of that and standard net knotting instructions than to use ribbon, I believe: the knots would be easier to make and the line would come out straighter.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:50 AM on February 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

Also, I have sone AMAZINGLY BRIGHT 3M tape that's tagged SOLAS, meaning Safety Of Life at Sea. You might search further on that term.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:51 AM on February 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

If you want to make a version with bead, the Egyptian dresses are likely a beadwork stitch without any knotting. It looks like a version of netting or flat netting but with bugle or tube beads instead of multiple seed beads on each side of the diamonds, using a technique like this. You can get the beads in a variety of colors and materials and I've seen them as long as an inch. For a dress, I'd stay away from the glass bugle beads and instead go for metal.

And the classic text on knots, The Ashley Book of Knots, on netting (more on netting in the book; free download available through first link).
posted by carrioncomfort at 10:58 AM on February 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

Can you take a close-up picture of one of the knots on the vest?
posted by gregr at 11:07 AM on February 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

Various articles (and the original item description at the now-closed webshop) describe the vest as "hand netted from custom 3M material", so I suppose the ribbon might not work as well, but I'm willing to try. Attempts to photograph the knots close up are here--they are absolutely not sewn or glued--I snapped one diamond when it caught on a button (lost the button too) and it was incredibly difficult to pierce with a handsewing needle.
posted by crush-onastick at 2:50 PM on February 22, 2017

How to Tie a Fish Net

Other stuff of potential interest:

Slip Knot
How to Tie the 10 Most Useful Knots
posted by Michele in California at 3:06 PM on February 22, 2017

Solomon's Knot is another possible technique. It's crochet but with a difference.
posted by kariebookish at 3:27 PM on February 22, 2017

A friend sent me this video on making a fishing net, which led me to this video on making a net, which seemed to produce something a lot like my vest.
posted by crush-onastick at 12:22 PM on February 23, 2017

Also maybe look at Rita Buchanan's sites, www.knotsindeed.com/ and www.nettingnook.com/.
posted by lagomorph at 2:15 PM on February 23, 2017

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