TREE IN DORDOGNE
A photo of its trunk ( fruit tree )
Added 2012 Jan 6th
or A MISTAKEN (IMO) CORDAGE CODE
or ARCHAEOLOGIST MYSTIFIED BY A CORDAGE CODING ( he is using
NOT the language of ropesùmaking but the language of textliles which
for a lot of misunderstanding when speaking about ropes and not texiles
or, but that is doubtful,
at least to me ;-D : A MISTAKEN NAUTILE
Early 2006 I found a publication and ever
since I have hesitated and postponed
the demolition of an archaeologist 's writing about one of
the illustration shown which
to me shows the author is lacking in education about
'traditional' laid-up cordage.
A cordage is a succession of 'structures' assembled by "axial torsion
FIBRES when they have a natural orientation make the decision
the YARNS (FIL de CARET) made with them.
As fibres and yarn are of
the same orientation it is usual to code (reading from left to right
1 2 3 4 5) for the YARN only. It is always best to avoid ambiguity and
always state the
way you coding is written. In my case it is yarn / strand / hawser
to which if the need arise are added / cable / super-cable
*** yarns are twisted in groups to make STRANDS or SUB-ROPES
*** Several strands are
LAID-UP ( sont COMMIS) to make
HAWSER , the
ou AUSSIERE). Les (h)aussières sont
cordage commis UNE fois ;
hawser are cordage laid-up ONCE. Curioulsy this laid up once stage when
'thread' is called 'cable" which for ropes is in fact a laid-up twice
cordage. There is a lot less
ambiguity in French were hawser==aussière and
(marine) cable is grelin. so in French the
cable of textile is the Fil câblé == cabled thread in textile : single
yarns are spun with an
S-twist then several single yarns are
plied together a Z-twist, then several plied yarns are
up together with an S-twist to make a 'cabled yarn' which is
not ambigous as 'cable' is.
See how ambiguous this is because cabled yarn of textiles is
in factthe hawser of ropes and
cordage : NEVER NEVER NEVER be ignorant
enough of ropemaking to speak of 'cable'
and intent 'cabled yarn',
always say the full "cabled yarn" to avoid the confusion with the
which is a twice laid-up cordage and not a once laid-up one.
*** Three hawsers are
LAID-UP into a
CABLE ( GRELIN).
Les grelins sont des cordage
commis DEUX fois ; cables are
cordage laid-up TWICE.
LAID-UP into a
SUPER-CABLE ( SUPER-GRELIN)
Les super grelins sont des cordage commis TROIS fois ; super cables are
The laying-up or 'commettage' in French is a twsiting like the one
preceding it BUT it warrant
a special name due to teh very specific
events ( physics) happening at this stage that are
from what followed the other twisting procedures in rope making.
( see DUHAMEL DU MONCEAU )
The code S
ONLY if it refers to a
TWISTING procedure in the making of the
cordage ; that is so if one wants that the
coding stays 'homogeneous'.
character in an identification code MUST be in correspondence with one
and only one
characteristic (and reciprocally) that is being coded for
for example one
MAY NOT use the same sign to code for say a square and a cube.
It is very
important to realise that the S
stands for the result of an axial torque on the orientation of
a structure and stands for nothing else as a coiling for example.
: it is for commodity and expediency that I here use the words
would more appropriate to consider that it is really helical torus(es)
in 3D rather that a line deploying in 3D as for a proper
helix - a consideraton of
"helicoid' was quicly
Another thing to realise is that
if fibres/yarns make
FIRST-ORDER HELICES then
a strand is
SECOND-ORDER HELIX ( an helix of helices of
first-order, and helix
a hawser is a
THIRD ORDER HELIX ( an helix of strands) ( cordage UNE
that is cordage laid-up ONCE)
a cable is a
FOURTH ORDER HELIX ( an helix of hawsers) ( cordage DEUX
that is cordage laid-up TWICE)
a super-cable is a
FIFTH ORDER HELIX ( an helix of cables) ( cordage
commis that is cordage laid-up THRICE)
immediately note that to go from one (N) order helix to
material to the "starting" order.
second order helix but one
MUST ADD AT LEAST
to go to the
third order helix by TWISTing the regrouping of
IF you make a third
order helix without adding material, say using a single
strand to be strained into
making an helix ( this will be a serialized hockles) then this
new helix is not of the same type as
the third order helix it is a
of ONE strand.
SUPER-COILING and a (N+1)
order helix made by
addition by a twisting
procedure of several (N)
Super-coiling (cylindrical snarling) is readily
seen in rubber bands used as 'motor'
for model air planes.
This super coil is the result of excessive
torsion and this is something that ropemakers of old
avoided at "all
prices" as it is something that
destroy a lot of fibres and so weakens the
Using those two ZS signs
you can give the identification code of a cordage
by a triplet such as ZSZ
for hawser ((h)aussière ou cordage une fois
commis or once
or a quadruplet such as ZSZS
( cable or grelin in French, a twice
laid-up cordage, un
cordage deux fois commis)
or a quintuplet as ZSZSZ
( super-grelin ;
cable, cordage TROIS fois commis or thrice
laid-up cordage )
Using those two ZS signs
IMPLIES THAT EACH LETTER STANDS FOR A TWISTING PROCEDURE :
operative word here is TWIST.
So writing in a scientific article, for an archaeologist such as
the author of the article, that
in Fig 18
quote] zS2[S2] cable made of palm (BE95/96-6.004 1375-h-0447); another
is (BE99-31.007 2383-h-3122) (S-spun soft fibre yarns). Fragment
0572-h-1314) is slightly different but with a comparable
appearance. Here, the ply is wound
around itself resulting in the same pattern of curling but around a
core. The curling of cordage
is not a result of post-depositional processes and seems to be
intentional. It might be
the curl of a wig. The cordage originates from a late
fourth to early fifth century CE
Courtesy of the University of Delaware/Leiden University/UCLA Berenike
or [open quote]1.3.4.
Kinks are curls, crossings or curvings in cordage which are not parts
of knots, and which are
not due to post-depositional circumstances.
Kinks are not necessarily accidental (figure 18).
is tantamount to saying that it was made with
THREE twisting procedures the third being the
laying-up or 'commettage'
The second quote I have much difficulties to understand and in my time
as a reader for a
'reading committee prior to publication' in scientific domain I would
never have accept this
manner of witting.
If that person realised that it was
CURLS AND NOT THE RESULT OF ANOTHER
PROCEDURE THEN HE IS DOUBLY FAULTY TO HAVE USED ZSS as this is ABUSING
THE CODE !
LETTERS ARE TOI BE USED ONLMY FOR TWISTING
PROCEDURE WITH ADDITION OF MATERIAL
AND NOT FOR SUPER COILING BY CYLINDRICAL SNARLING!
I don't find those remarks very bright !
Why is he speaking of knots I cannot even begin to understand as try as
I may I cannot see
any knot in Fig 18.
NOT SEE ANY KINK in that Fig 18
is an abrupt bend or loop in a rope which is
a result of an unbalanced
twist relationship in the rope structure.
Strand kinks are also termed as cockles,
and kinks are certainly NOT crossings !
Kinks are avoided by all reasonnable persons using cordage and are
and due to a mistaken manipulation. Here
lie kinks and their damaging influence, as you can
is quite a long way away from anything in Fig 18.
Here the curl / coils are evidently so regular and in series that I am
hard put considering
The author speaking of Fig 18 seems to me quite unable to really make a
distinction between COIL/
COILED and CURL/CURLED about yarns.
Archaeologist are studying cordages made "the old way : by hand" and I
disturbing that they do not have enough sense to list reference else
or HIMMELFARB ; none of those archaelogists seem to have enough
"culture générale" to
*** The French Enlighthement Encyclopedists and their articles on
Those books treat the hand made cordages and not as
1957 HIMMELFARB's THE
TECHNOLOGY OF CORDAGE FIBRES AND ROPES or 2004 McKENNA's HANDBOOK OF FIBRE ROPE TECHNOLOGY the modern processes.
Archaeologist lacking " culture générale" in cordage will do
well reading those old books
if, of course, they have enough 'general culture' to read French.
First this is
NOT A CABLE as understood in cordage a cable is
three hawsers laid-up
; the author is confusing the reader knowledgeable in rope making by
using an inappropriate
term taken from TEXTILES. He is using
( imporecisely at that : he should have
disambiguated by using "cabled
yarn" instead of 'cable". the textile industries nomenclature
rope of old
nomenclature are not using cable with the same meaning : a
QUADRUPLET, when a
it is HAWSER!
The only other way of using the word 'cabled' 'cable' is not a ropery
term but a textile
industry term as in "a cotton cabled thread" which is quite
different from what is shown
In textile manufacture 'un fil cablé' , a "cabled thread' is ( strictly
defined ) 'coton câblé' are
different from 'coton retors' cabled cotton = re-twisted
Re-twisted cotton =2, 3 or more spun yarns are regrouped and again
Cabled cotton = re-twisted thread are regrouped and twisted again.
So to make things simpler and clearer than the convoluted formula used
in the article I will
say that this zS2[S2]
is in fact
a ZSSmeaning that
yarns were twisted in an S
Strand ( or S
and that two such S
stands were TWISTed in a S
but that is NOT an hawser that is shown in Fig 18, nor a cable.
to make the yarn from the fibre ==
FIRST Twist ( ONE length
of 'material is necessary)
to make the yarns into stands ==
SECOND Twist ( at least TWO lengths
to make the strands into hawser ==
THIRD Twist ( AT least FOUR length
Just this should have alerted the guy : there are "only
TWO lengths' of
material in his
cordage so it cannot be ZSS
(three successive assembling twists)
Well there is
ONLY TWO TWISTS that are necessary to yield a
of the cordage
shown in Fig 18, not three, so the use of three letters,
each standing for a twist is
If you use three twists then the last two letters in the code
and this shows that there
ABSOLUTELY NO LAYing-UP mechanism possible with two
same orientation, the locking up is impossible ( aucun mécanisme de
possible) and this lead to a "disastrous" hawser.
Just look at the dishevelled double helices in
this illustration :
it is the result of
THREE twisting procedures building a ZSS
cordage that has absolutely no
intrinsic stability and no resemblance to the item shown in Fig 18.
is mistaken IMO in its meaning "three twisting" as I am going
to show it :
See how the structure can be analysed : two
helices that are following one another with a slight
phase shift .
I made a 'true" (three twisting with addition of material) ZSS.
I used 3 Z
yarns ( FIRST torsion, twisting procedure)
those I assembled to get S
strands ( sub-rope ) ( SECOND torsion, twisting procedure)
IF I assembled by a THIRD torsion, twisting
2 of those S
) and then do not forcibly glue of seized the extremity ( this is not
a 'good" cordage) the whole unstable structure unravel
and becomes this loose
structure you see there
This is a real ZSS
and yet it does not look like the Fig 18.
YET IF I take this ZSS,
not letting it relax and tightly
COIL IT ,
NO AXIAL TORSION,
JUST TURNING AROUND A CORE AND SO MAKING A COIL I get an
perfect imitation of Fig 18.
The successive twistings are made by applying torque using successive
axis that all have
globally the same direction but to apply a COIL I had to use an axis
which is almost ( it is
the angle of the coiled
helix) perpendicular to the axis of the
It is very much like hairdo waviness made using "bigoudi" or
hair-curler. Here is a comparison.
So as it is not an
axial torque that was applied one has
NO RIGHT to
code it as an S
twist the proper formula
(three twist procedures) but ZS (
two twist procedures)
FOLLOWED by a coiling/curling procedure
S-oriented which is quite different
procedurally. see ***** below
because the coding is NOT-homogeneous: --- the
codes for an S-TWIST ---the
codes for an S-NO-TWIST
Just my two cents.
in http://www.manilacordage.com/faq.php [open
What is a Kink? A Cockle? A Knuckle? A Hockle? and a Chinckle? How do
they affect a
is an abrupt bend or loop in a rope which is
a result of an unbalanced twist
relationship in the rope structure.
Strand kinks are also termed as cockles,
condition whereby a rope strand twists on itself -- also called a
Apart from the effect on the strength of the rope, kinks and
cockles are detrimental because
they interfere with the utility of the
rope. They will not pass through a block, will not lie
will chafe more readily.
PS : to tell all the tale : if you take the two (no addition of
and apply a wild
excess of torque in the same orientation to make a ZS super-
coiled in S while pulling a lot
then you will get
snarling" - like in the rubber band.
This excess of torsion will break a lot of fibres so nullifying their
tendency to reverse
the applied torsion and the structure that is yielded by such a process
is again an imitation
of Fig 18.
The precedent imitation was made by coiling around a core and using
(SPLEITEX) this one with over-torsion and serial cylindrical snarling
was made with
" first quality hemp".
As you can see 'the central void' is now almost virtual and it was not
so easy to push
the metal needle inside. The super coil is quite 'springy'
while the first normal coil was soft,
This super coiling tend to 'crowd" upon itself
while the coil was
rather "loose' and
supple and all in all the coil resemble the curls in
European hairs while the super
coil resemble more the curls in black African hairs.
are the results of coiling in false hemp or first
quality hemp and of super coiling
induced by excessive torsion leading to serial cylindrical snarling..
***** With super
coiling the pai of ZS ( yarn/strand ) becomes
a ZSS* (S* is NOT from
a torsion procedure like S is) BUT NOT by assembling
several ZS into a
'true' ZSS but by
having its OWN
becoming its OWN (N+1)
It is entirely born of itself while in a laying-up procedure it
participate with its own helix to the
take some words of my old domain : autologous
and heterologous. A cable is an
helix coming from 3 (N)
order helices (hawsers)
bold="">( as in
going from 3 hawsers to 1 cable : passage from cordages laid-up
to cordage laid-upTWICE.) An helix order is
added but sue to the addition of material of the previous order of
The number of LAYing-UP procedure augment from (x) to( x+1).
AUTOLOGOUS : one
helix order is added
BUT by the cordage ITSELF which is
wild excess of torsion The material used
to make the (N+1)
order helix is given by the (N)order
MODIFICATION OF THE SPATIAL
CONFORMATION of the pre-existing.
The number of LAYing-UP procedure is unchanged.
In the case of the
pair of ZS becoming a cylindrical
snarl it is an autologous
born of its own
A SS sequence is
not "stopped" , "seized" as with a SZ or ZS. It is not stable
because absolutely no internal forces of counter-torsion make it
as happen in a laid-up cordage such as a ZSZ where the SZ is "the
makes it stable
is a wild excess of torsion that make appear a (N+1) order
out of pre-existing, with no adfdition of new cordage material,
no new laying-up.