The Irish Lashing




About: Friendship is like a mirror, it gives you back what you are. You make a friend by being one.

The Irish Lashing is for fixing two poles (spars) together. For best results these poles should cross at an angle between 40 and 90 degrees to each other.

The Irish Lashing was invented in the late 80's as an alternative to the square lashing. It has two main advantages over the square lashing, (a) it uses less rope and (b) because of the interlocking rope at the back it will stop unraveling if rope snaps, more on this later

Step 1: Starting Clove Hitch

To start the rope work, you must tie a clove hitch.

To tie a clove hitch, take the rope around one of the outside poles (pic 1). Then wrap the rope around the second time, crossing over the first wrap, making a 'X' (pic 2). Finish the clove hitch by threading the rope through the 'X', passing the working end under the cross-over from the previous wraps (pic 3). When you pull both ends of the rope it will tighten on itself and hold.

Step 2: Wrapping

Once you have your clove hitch tied on the top pole you can start the wrapping.

Bring the rope from the top right, under both poles to the bottom left corner (pic 2-3).

From the bottom left corner, over the top pole and down the top left corner (pic 3).

Under the bottom pole, diagonally to the bottom right corner (pic 4)

The top should look like you are about to tie a Square Lashing and you should have a cross or a 'X' on the back.

Continue these wraps until you have four or five complete wraps. Keep these wraps as tight and as neat as possible.

Step 3: Frapping

Once you have made the required wraps its time to really tighten the lashing by adding the frapping. To do this you pass the rope around one pole and then completely round between the two poles, pull tightly and repeat four or five times.

Step 4: Finishing Clove Hitch

When you are finished the frapping, hold the tension by pressing with your thumb and finish with a clove hitch. With the working end make a 'X' with the rope then pass the working end through the center of the 'X' and pull tight.

Now when you look at the back, the rope should be interlocking (one over the other). If the rope snaps during use the lashing will only unravel some of the way, as the friction from the overlapping should hold the rope.

These lashings are used for attaching cross-beams and braces for tripods - and many other projects.


Teach It! Contest Sponsored by Dremel

Participated in the
Teach It! Contest Sponsored by Dremel

Hunter-Gatherer Contest

Participated in the
Hunter-Gatherer Contest



    • DIY Summer Camp Contest

      DIY Summer Camp Contest
    • Planter Challenge

      Planter Challenge
    • Sew Tough Challenge

      Sew Tough Challenge

    10 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Well we go through a lot of crap wood looking for the straight ones, but when we have them we get a good 15 years out of them.

    We have a lot of spruce and pine growing in our area, sometimes the forestry service 'thin out' the forest, and this wood is perfect for us. Or some times forest owners ask us to clear windfall.

    nice to see some new 'ibles' from you. still have really nice grass and hair by what i can see. are you using thin rope or twine?

    1 reply

    Still got the grass and still got the hair!
    The twine we use is made out of sisal, it usually comes in two or three ply (about 4mm - 6mm). It's really good for this type of work because its very grippy. Orther natural fibier ropes, like hemp, etc, may be as good but I'v not used them before. Polypropylene ropes and other manmade ropes can be used but they tend to loosen themselves if you are not careful.
    Nice to hear from you again.


    4 years ago

    Wow, I've got to teach this to my cubscouts. Can't wait! Would you have any ideas with camp gateways? The examples they have on the internet are ancient!

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago

    Nice one, I will have a look for some gateways for you

    Uncle Kudzu

    4 years ago on Introduction

    That's cool that an improvement was found so relatively recently for square lashing, which has probably been around forever. Very interesting!

    Nice work on the i'ble! Very well illustrated.

    1 reply

    Yes, who would have thought you could come up with new and better ways of doing things that we have done since the dawn of time!! You should try it out, its a super-cool lashing.