How to Tie a Catspaw Lite CuffbyHomburg©
Time for a quick tutorial. I mentioned the Catspaw Lite cuff in a post on the Ropework Photos thread in the BDSM Cafe, and I've used it here and there since. Like I said in that post, the original Catspaw cuff is a cool one, but it has a few too many wraps for my taste, and too many steps. I was playing around with the concept and came up with a cuff that I like for lower security uses.
This one has not yet shown any propensity for tightening, but it's not a cuff that I've used to hold any sort of weight, so take it with a grain of salt. It is not by any means escape proof, and an eel will probably get out of it.
(NOTE: "eel" is a term used for a person that likes to squirm and wriggle, and will attempt to escape a tie.)
This cuff works best when there is some tension on the lead. The bottom line here is that it is intended as a comfortable cuff which can be quickly applied and tied to a hard point, such as the bedpost or whatnot.
So here we go:
First step is to find the middle of you rope and fold it in half. This produces a "bight", which is the turn you just made in the rope. There is also the 'working end', which is the two loose bits on the other end.
Wrap that loop round the column you want to secure, and tuck the working end through the bight. Pull taut. This produces a Larkshead.
You have just learned the primary 'knot' used in the Japanese-inspired style of rope bondage. And limbs are referred to as columns. Legs, arms, torsos, whatever, they're all columns.
Note - don't snug this down tight. You will be passing lines under this bight. You should be able to slide two fingers under the wraps at any given point. You should follow the two-finger rule with bondage in general, as this will help you avoid cutting off circulation, nerve damage, etc. Remember, don't break your toys! This includes the human ones.
Wrap the working ends back around the column in the opposite direction, making sure to lay the lines flat and outside the original lines.
Note - You want your wraps to lay flat as it will better support the limb, and prevent pressure points in the tie. It will also help to prevent pinch bruising if the cuff is used under tension.
You'll notice that the lines you just laid form two more bights. Tuck each working end into these bights, making sure to keep all of your lines flat and parallel.
Take your working leads and tuck them under the existing lines, then again through the initial bight that you formed in the first place. This will cause your working ends to be side-by-side again.
Run the working ends to the outside of each side, and wrap them under and through the initial bight again. This is basically just wrapping these lines around the same part once more.
Pull taut and you are done. You'll notice that this is my own wrist here. This cuff can be tied one handed, and I've done so on myself many times while testing it and playing with it.
As I said before, I'm still testing this, so don't trust it to bear weight. Frankly, the wrist and ankles should never be trusted to bear weight any way. They're too easily damaged, but a cuff like this is great for keeping a limb in a given spot.
It works without knots because of how the wraps are set and how many times the various larksheads are cinched and secured.
And, obviously, you want to use more rope than this. This is a piece of acid green MFP from Rainbow Rope that they gave me when I bought all but this off the spool. It's 6mm rope, same as 1/4" and this length is probably 4ft long, so you'll need 4ft for the cuff alone. Whatever you have left can be used to tie the cuff to something stable.
If you are looking for rope, the easiest suggestion is to hit your local hardware store and buy 1/4" or 5/8" nylon solid braid off the spool, cut to your length of choice. Please make sure it is off the spool. Spooled nylon rope is still nylon/poly blend, but has higher nylon content. This means it will be softer and tie better.
NOTE: For better pictures of this cuff, as well as a more secure version of it, visit the Ropework Photos thread in the BDSM Cafe here on Lit. You will also find more info on rope selection, links to vendors, and a lot of photos of various ties.